Protection of refugees must be stepped up in wake of unprecedented crisis

Geneva, 20 October 2015

Countries hosting refugees must comply with the principles of international refugee and humanitarian laws to ensure their protection in the wake of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, a global conference of national parliaments has declared in Geneva.
Nearly 800 parliamentarians from 135 countries have reiterated the need for States to save refugees lives and provide them with the necessary care in an emergency resolution adopted at the 133rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) today.
Parliaments and governments are being called upon to develop special measures to address the specific needs of women, girls and young refugees, and to protect them from human trafficking.
Host countries are being urged not to deport refugees, expel them to a border with another country or take any action to endanger their lives.
The IPU resolution, aimed at mobilizing parliaments and international organizations to ensure protection of and support to an estimated 30 million refugees in the world, calls for the principle of  “international relief” for refugees to be fully respected.
With an unprecedented outflow of people fleeing conflicts in various regions and moving across borders in search of security, parliaments and the international community are being encouraged to cooperate in sharing the burden of hosting refugees and the associated costs with countries that have received them.
With the various conflicts in the Middle East spurring much of the current refugee crisis, IPU member parliaments called on the United Nations and relevant countries to settle conflicts in the region in compliance with resolutions adopted by the international community and establish political and military stability.  Failure to do so would result in exacerbating irregular migration and human trafficking.
Parliamentary cooperation with the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to ensure international rules in the protection of refugees were applied, is also highlighted.
“The unacceptable plight of refugees everywhere in the world is one that we all have to work to alleviate. Human security is a basic need that has been enshrined in international law. As parliamentarians we must do everything we can to make sure that law is applied rigorously,” said IPU President Saber Chowdhury. 
The emergency IPU resolution was adopted during a five-day Assembly, due to conclude on 21st October, is focusing on identifying a smarter and more humane approach to migration.