UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Wednesday urged [press release] world leaders to accept more refugees and to combat the growing international anti refugee sentiments. The remarks were made at the opening of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) conference [official websites] to create pathways for Syrian refugee admission. The conference seeks to identify mechanisms for states to resettle thousands of refugees in the coming months. The Secretary’s remarks [text] expounded on the endeavor:
Today, I ask that countries act with solidarity, in the name of our shared humanity, by pledging new and additional pathways for the admission of Syrian refugees. These pathways can include resettlement or humanitarian admission, family reunions, as well as labour or study opportunities. States have pledged more than 178,000 places so far. I call on you to expand on these commitments—and I urge other countries to join. When managed properly, accepting refugees is a win for everyone. Refugees are famously devoted to education, improvement and self-reliance. They bring new skills and experience to an ageing workforce.Attempts to demonize them are not only offensive; they are factually incorrect. I call on leaders to counter fear mongering with reassurance, and to fight inaccurate information with the truth.
The UNCHR estimates that 480,000 people still are in need of resettlement .
The rights of migrant populations has emerged as one of the most significant humanitarian issue around the world. An independent UN human rights expert in March encouraged [press release] EU leaders to remain [JURIST report] steadfast in their obligations to handle the recent influx of migrants to the EU and to avoid making Turkey the “gatekeeper.” Also in March Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] Executive Director Kenneth Roth urged EU leaders to reject a proposed EU Joint Action Plan with Turkey [JURIST report] to handle the influx of migrants due to the “disregard for international law covering the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants.”