Amnesty: Current Approach to Refugees Failing

Rights group Amnesty International says the current approaches to dealing with the world’s refugee problems are failing and is calling for a shift in how refugee crises are addressed.

In a report issued before World Refugee Day, Amnesty say the global refugee crisis is worsening. It is calling for a system that protects refugees and shares the burden among countries.

Amnesty says the international community should hold a summit on the refugee crisis and develop robust refugee systems. It said countries must be committed to saving the lives of refugees in distress and combat trafficking, fight xenophobia and establish a global refugee fund.

Amnesty says that for the first time since World War II, the number of those forcibly displaced from their homes exceeded 50 million in 2013.

In “The Global Refugee Crisis: A Conspiracy of Neglect,” Amnesty says more than half of the population is displaced in Syria, which is experiencing the world’s biggest refugee crisis after years of fighting between government forces and rebels, as well as advances by Islamist militant groups.

Because of the Syrian refugee crisis, Amnesty says Syrian refugees now account for one in every five people in Lebanon. It says the United Nations appeal for Syrian refugees has been only 23 percent funded.

In Africa, Amnesty says people escaping violence in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Burundi are adding to the continent’s longstanding refugee populations from Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Amnesty says appeals for humanitarian aid for African refugees are severely underfunded.

The report looks at refugees and migrants who are risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, leading to hundreds of deaths.

Amnesty said one reason for the increased deaths was the European Union’s decision to carry out more limited naval operations to deal with the migrants in the Mediterranean.

Amnesty also focused on the plight of refugees and migrants in Southeast Asia, where in May of this year fishing boats crammed with people from Myanmar and Bangladesh were forced out to sea by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. It says those people were left without care or supplies for a week before the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia offered to take them in.

The rights groups says people smugglers and human traffickers are blamed in Europe and Southeast Asia, but governments must still provide protection to refugees.


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