World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Sri Lanka deports families seek asylum

UN Refugee Agency alarmed as Sri Lanka deports families seeking asylum

12 August 2014

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed alarm that recent deportations of asylum-seekers from Sri Lanka back to Pakistan were growing in size and scope despite international calls to stop sending them back to a place where their lives could be in danger.

“In all, 88 Pakistanis had been sent home since 1 August. Initially, those deportees had been men previously placed into detention, but now whole families were being deported,” Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva today.

“UNHCR is seriously concerned at these deportations, including of families and vulnerable people whose international protection needs have not been assessed.

By sending these people back, the Government of Sri Lanka is in breach of its obligations under international law concerning the principle of no-forced-returns, or non-refoulement,” he stated.

Mr. Edwards noted that the first cases happened on 3 August, when a detained man had been sent back to Pakistan, followed two days later by his wife and daughter, picked up from their home. A family of six was sent back last Saturday, followed by another couple and two siblings yesterday. In all, there are now 11 women and eight children among the deported.

Those families had been told to go to Colombo airport, where they had been placed on flights to Pakistan. Some of the latest deportees had their passports and asylum-seeker certificates seized the previous week.

“Our staff has also heard about families becoming separated as a result of deportation – including a man sent home over a week ago and whose pregnant wife remains in Sri Lanka,” he said adding that the recent developments have heightened anxiety among the refugee and asylum-seeker population in Sri Lanka.

Many are even afraid to leave their homes for fear of arrest, detention and deportation.

According to UNHCR guidelines issued to governments and other decision makers on eligibility of asylum claims, members of religious minorities including the Ahmadiyya Muslim, Christian and Shia minority communities in Pakistan, may be in need of international protection and require particularly careful examination of their asylum claims.

In addition, UNHCR reiterated its call to the Government of Sri Lanka to stop deportations immediately and to grant access to asylum seekers in detention so that its staff can assess their needs for international protection. Some 157 asylum seekers, including 84 Pakistanis, 71 Afghans and 2 Iranians remain in detention in the country.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news