Refugees’ rights to international protection are being threatened by “asylum fatigue” in many countries, according to a UN report published today.
The report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees accused governments of “blurring” the distinction between potential terrorists, illegal migrants and criminals and refugees fleeing persecution.
It also raised concerns over affluent states’ plans – including those mooted by the UK government – to “outsource” refugee protection to “low-cost, no frills” countries.
It also pointed out that two-thirds of the world’s 9.2 million refugees were found in developing countries which were struggling to meet the needs of their own citizens.
In response to the report, Maeve Sherlock, chief executive of the Refugee Council, called on the UK to take more responsibility over asylum seekers.
“Successive governments in the UK have focused entirely on battening down our borders, blocking asylum seekers before they can reach our shores and making the whole system as tough, complex and uncompassionate as it possibly can be,” she said.
The state of the world’s refugees from: www.unhcr.org.uk