Developing nations need assistance to host refugees

Thursday, Nov 5, 2015,11:08 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

United Nations | India has asserted that developing countries need assistance to handle the burden of hosting refugees as it voiced concern over the unprecedented forced displacement of nearly 60 million people worldwide.

Finding durable solutions for refugees and displaced people is the best form of protection. To this end, developing countries, which now host 86 per cent of today’s refugees, compared to 77 per cent ten years ago, need assistance to handle the burden of hosting refugees and be in a position to receive returning refugees.

This is a must if we are not to see a shrinking of asylum space traditionally offered by developing countries, visiting MP Rahul Kaswan said here. He said it is a matter of grave concern that forced displacement is more widespread, protracted, complex and on a global scale than ever before.

Nearly 60 million people were in situations of forced displacement by the end of 2014, of these 13.9 million people had been displaced in 2014 alone, he said at a Third Committee meeting yesterday on refugees. He also voiced concern that more than half of the nearly 14 million displaced last year were children under the age of 18.

Kaswan said escalation in violence and armed conflicts in various regions, natural disasters and epidemics, acts of persecution and discrimination have aggravated the situation of forced displacement. The global refugee crisis is testing the limits of the global response.

There is, very evidently, no substitute to a concerted and coordinated response on the part of the international community, he said, adding that it is necessary to safeguard mixed movement at the sea, in accordance with international humanitarian principles and law. Kaswan also noted that the primary responsibility to look after the Internally Displaced Persons lie with the national authorities.

The UN refugee agency should remain within the bounds of the concept of sovereignty, which should not be diluted in any manner. He said India believes that curbing illegal migration requires a comprehensive response, including meaningful opportunities for legal migration. However, one needs to exercise caution in mixing up asylum seekers with migrants as the apprehensions of one should not be superimposed on the other, he said.