[JURIST] The United Nationals High Commissioner on Refugees’s (UNHCR) [official website] Mid-Year Trends 2015 report, published on Friday, shows [UNHC report] that the current year is on track to have record breaking rates of forced displacement. The report details displacement rates from conflict and persecution during the first 6 months of 2015. As of the mid-point of 2015 the number of displaced refugees reached over 20 million individuals. These reports indicate that the number could reach over 60 million by the end of 2015. The number of refugees has not been this high since 1992. The reports further indicate that only very low numbers of refugees have the opportunity to return home safely. Germany has received the most refugees in the first half of 2015. The High Commissioner said “Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything.”
The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. Last week UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonaddressed [JURIST report] the UN General Assembly and cautioned the international community to avoid discrimination against Muslims, especially refugees and migrants entering Europe, as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris a week earlier. Earlier this month Amnesty International analyzed [JURIST report] the EU’s approach to the refugee crisis and recommends changes to ensure international law is followed and human rights are appropriately valued. In October Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] called on [JURIST report] the EU and Western Balkans states to focus on remedying what it characterized as deplorable conditions for asylum-seekers in Europe. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights gave the opening statement [JURIST report] at the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in September in which he addressed, among other pressing human rights issues, the migrant crisis. Germany announced [JURIST report] that month that it was invoking temporary border controls at the nation’s southern border with Austria, after thousands of immigrants entered the country.