UN rights expert criticizes deportation as method for dealing with migration

UN rights expert criticizes deportation as method for dealing with migration

UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of migrants, Felipe González Morales, said Monday that countries that return migrants to their countries of origin are disregarding human rights considerations.

In his report [text], the Special Rapporteur called for safer passage for returning immigrants, ensuring such returns are voluntary for immigrants, better reintegration programs for immigrants who have returned to their countries of origin, and greater cooperation between destination countries and countries of origin.

Morales argues that returning migrants to their countries of origin is more costly than allowing them to settle and to integrate them into the destination country’s society.

Morales commented that undocumented children should not be separated from their parents nor be detained unless it is in the interest of the child. He said that doing so should be considered a deprivation of personal liberty. “Children cannot be returned except when it has been determined, through appropriate processes, that it would be in their best interests.”

Morales further said such expulsions violate the UN’s principle of non-refoulment. Article 14 [text] of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states all persons have the right to seek asylum in order to escape persecution. Furthermore, Morales criticized such acts as violating international human rights prohibition of collective expulsions.

At the time of publication of this report, Morales had visited Nepal, and is scheduled to visit Mali and Nigeria. The report covers multiple countries.