Rich and mid-income countries urged to welcome more refugees for resettlement

London, UK (PANA) - The lack of resettlement places globally feeds the smuggling industry and pushes desperate people to embark on dangerous journeys, says Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council Jan Egeland.

1.4 million refugees will need resettlement in 2019, according to new figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), but the number of places available do not match needs.

The international humanitarian organisation, Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a statement that rich and mid-income countries should increase the number of people they admit for resettlement.

“Most refugees are given protection close to their home countries, but some refugees cannot find necessary support and protection where they are. Resettlement could provide them with a safe alternative to smugglers, but currently the queues are too long,” said Egeland.

“The shocking lack of compassion and willingness among many rich and mid-income countries to take their share of responsibility and provide refugees with resettlement has resulted in a large and dangerous back-log,” he added.

Resettlement is the transfer of refugees from the country where they have claimed asylum to a safe “third country”. In 2017 about 1.2 million refugees were in need of resettlement in countries that were peaceful. 75,000 were given this type of protection. Next year, the number of people in need of resettlement will rise to 1.4 million people, according to UNHCR.

In the US, a country that normally has received the largest number of people for resettlement, the quotas have been cut with two-thirds after Donald Trump became president. Denmark, another country that used to contribute substantially, has ended their programme, and also Norway has reduced the number of places available.  

“European countries need to increase their contributions, especially the many Eastern European countries that are currently not receiving any refugees for resettlement. The US should increase their support to their former level, when they still provided moral leadership. Large and emerging economies in both Asia and Latin-America also need to step up,” Egeland said.

“We should be able to expect countries that have the economy to host World Cups, Eurovision or Olympic Games, to also have the capacity to host some of the world’s refugees who currently cannot find protection where they are,” he added.
-0- PANA MA 27June2018

27 juin 2018 05:42:24

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