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


Asylum Seekers Need More Protection, UN Expert

Asylum seekers need more protection in face of counter-terrorism measures - UN expert

Counter-terrorism measures in many parts of the globe disproportionately impact asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants, a United Nations independent human rights expert said in New York today.

"Asylum-seekers with a well-founded fear of persecution may be the largest similarly situated group of persons in the world who are seriously and adversely affected by the post-2001 wave of new counter-terrorism measures," Martin Sheinin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, told the General Assembly committee dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural issues, known as the Third Committee.

Mr. Sheinin briefed the Committee on his latest report, which highlights the issues of pre-entry interception and screening measures; detention of asylum-seekers; exclusion from refugee or other protection status; the repatriation or resettlement of people detained for terrorism-related reasons; and bolstering international responsibility for protection.

"Being able to access other countries to seek protection is key to a refugee's life and security, and a cornerstone of international protection," the Rapporteur said.

He also emphasized the issue of diplomatic assurances involving terrorism suspects being protected against torture.

"Diplomatic assurances sought from a receiving State to the effect that a person will not be subjected to torture, or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment can never absolve the duty of the sending State to assess individually the existence of a 'real risk' of such treatment," Mr. Sheinin noted.

That obligation to conduct individual assessments also pertains to the risk of persecution or of capital punishment, he said.

Regarding the release, repatriation and resettlement of detainees held for terrorism-related reasons worldwide, the Rapporteur said that he is "encouraged by positive signals that the Government of the United States plans to close down one of the most long-standing places of detention of terrorism suspects, the military detention facility at Guantánamo Bay."

He urged the US to shut down the centre "without delay" to allow for detainees to be tried for alleged crimes or released.

Additionally, Mr. Sheinin called for all States to prepare to receive for resettlement those being held at Guantánamo Bay for whom no criminal charges have been initiated.

He also recommended that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) take part in resettling Guantánamo detainees who claim to be in need of international protection after assessing each individual detainee's cases, and that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights utilize her good offices to facilitate resettlement in cases falling outside the scope of the Refugee Convention.


More: Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>

Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>