Migrants protection - UNHCR 04 June 2024
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Edited News | UNHCR

Migrants protection - UNHCR 04 June 2024

Little protection for vulnerable travellers on major migration routes, warns UNHCR 

Conflicts in Sudan and across the Sahel region have compromised protection for migrants who continue to face “unimaginable horrors” on major migration routes to Europe, UN humanitarians said on Tuesday. 

A new report from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) confirmed that each year, hundreds of thousands of people risk their lives to migrate from sub-Saharan countries in Africa without access to immediate assistance, shelter or information about the dangers they may face, even though the location of major movement hubs is well known. 

Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation, said that the absence of critical services placed refugees and migrants “at great risk of harm and death” and also triggered dangerous secondary onward movements.

“Our capacity to partner directly with local authorities is missing. Yet, those local authorities are there, they are located on those routes that are used for migrants and refugees, they are located in places where humanitarian actors cannot be present, either because of safety concern or because authorities don’t want humanitarian actors to be present. But the local authorities are there and they would be able to provide those immediate protection services.”

 To remedy the situation and save lives, the UNHCR official called on donors and stakeholders to support the agency’s humanitarian work and that of local partners in targeted locations. “This includes better access to legal pathways to safety and improving protection services for victims, as well as those at risk of becoming victims along the routes,” Mr. Cochetel said. 

As well as African migrants, those on the move come from Asia and the Middle East. Many underestimate the risks and dangers and many die while crossing the desert or near borders, UNHCR said, noting that most also suffer serious human rights violations, including sexual violence, kidnappings, torture and physical abuse. 

“Many don’t go to capital cities where humanitarian actors are based and well represented,” Mr. Cochetel told journalists in Geneva. “They embark to secondary routes, reaching smaller cities in hard-to-reach areas” including in the Sahara Desert. “This is where services should be located.”

With the right level of funding, supported services could provide immediate humanitarian assistance, shelter, referral mechanisms, information on the dangers involved in embarking on hazardous journeys and access to justice. 

Taking the example of Agadez in central Niger - a major migration hub towards Libya and where the security situation remains extremely dangerous for migrants - Mr. Cochetel emphasized that “the local authorities are present, people who were born there. Let's work with these authorities. These authorities see the problem and they would like to do something. Desert search and rescue, that's something we'd like to develop with these local authorities. Technologically, it is possible.” 

Measures promoted by UNHCR to protect migrants from trafficking include:

·       Bolstering the early identification of refugees and migrants at risk or victims of trafficking both on the land routes and upon disembarkation.

·       Facilitating access to solutions for VoTs including regular pathways, such as family reunification and humanitarian evacuation,

·       enhancing regularization of migrants and longer-term support in host countries. Offering voluntary return to countries of origin “should not be the only solution considered, as it may lead to risks of re-trafficking upon return”, the UNHCR report insisted.

·       Facilitating access to legal support, including for access to justice and remedies. Enhancing access to support for male victims of trafficking, as men are often not eligible for the limited support that is available.

·       According to the UNHCR, 108.4 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced. Most refugees - 76 per cent - are hosted by low and middle-income countries.

·       In addition, the UN migration agency IOM reports more than 280 million international migrants in the world, who represent 3.6 per cent of the global population.

Ends

Story: “Migrants and refugees protection - UNHCR” – 04 June 2024 

Speaker:       Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation

TRT: 01’55”
SOURCE: UNTV CH
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
ASPECT RATIO: 16:9
DATELINE: 04 June 2024 - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Geneva Press briefing


SHOTLIST

 

1.      Exterior medium shot: UN flag alley.  

2.      Wide shot of the podium with speakers at the press conference room with journalists in the room.

3.      SOUNDBITE (English) Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation: “Many don’t go to capital cities where humanitarian actors are based, well represented. They embark to secondary routes reaching smaller cities, smaller communities, in hard-to-reach areas. This is where services should be located.”

4.      Wide shot: speakers at podium from behind and journalists in the room.

5.      SOUNDBITE (English) Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation: “Our capacity to partner directly with local authorities is missing. Yet, those local authorities are there, they are located on those routes that are used for migrants and refugees, they are located in places where humanitarian actors cannot be present, either because of safety concern or because authorities don’t want humanitarian actors to be present. But the local authorities are there and they would be able to provide those immediate protection service.”

6.      Medium shot: speakers at podium from behind and journalists in the room.

7.      SOUNDBITE (French) Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation: « Si on ne peut pas être présent au nord d'Agadez aujourd'hui, les autorités locales sont là. Des gens qui sont nés là-bas, qui étaient là-bas avant que cette route soit utilisée à des fins de migration vers la Libye. Mais travaillons avec ces autorités. Ces autorités voient le problème. Ces autorités aimeraient faire quelque chose.”
-- Translation into English: “If we can't be present in the north of Agadez today, the local authorities are present: people who were born there, who were there before this route was used for migration to Libya. Let's work with these authorities. These authorities see the problem. These authorities would like to do something."

8.      Cutaway: wide shot of journalists in press conference room.

9.      SOUNDBITE (French) Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation: « On continue de parler de sauvetage en mer. Le concept de sauvetage dans le désert n'est pas très, très développé, la recherche et le sauvetage dans le désert, et c'est quelque chose qu'on aimerait développer avec ces autorités locales. Technologiquement, c'est possible. »
-- Translation into English: “We continue to talk about rescue at sea. The concept of desert rescue is not very, very developed. Desert search and rescue, that's something we'd like to develop with these local authorities. Technologically, it is possible.”

10.   Medium, close ups and various shots of journalists and technicians in the press conference room and control room.

 

 


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