The UN has described rising numbers of people fleeing their homes, saying more must be done to “shoulder this responsibility.”
Germany has been dubbed a “front-runner in refugee protection” for its multilayered approach.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged governments to rise to the task of protecting refugees across the globe amid a growing number of people fleeing their homes for safety.
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“At this time of turbulence, the international community must do far more to shoulder this responsibility together,” Guterres said at the start of the two-day Global Refugee Forum. “It is a moment to build a more equitable response to refugee crises through a sharing of responsibility.”
The forum is hoping to draw commitments from governments, businesses and organizations to take bold measures and bolster assistance for refugees.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called for a “reboot” of the current system, which has effectively kept the vast majority of refugees across the globe in poor and developing countries.
“As a new decade dawns with some 71 million uprooted from their homes globally, inside and outside their countries, it’s time to reboot our responses,” Grandi said.
‘Front-runner in refugee protection’
For UNHCR’s Martin Rentsch, Germany is one of the few developed countries to have taken bold steps in the right direction.
“Over the last couple of years, Germany has been a front-runner in refugee protection, because it’s one of the few countries that not only significantly finances humanitarian assistance in countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and other countries,” said Rentsch.
“But it also took in quite a significant amount of people, more than one million. So it can speak to both sides.”
More than 1 million irregular migrants entered the EU in 2015. Many of them were refugees fleeing war and extreme poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. That year, nearly 900,000 refugees entered Germany to seek sanctuary under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy.
But concerns remain, including Berlin’s controversial policy to repatriate failed Afghan asylum-seekers to Afghanistan, where German troops remain deployed and attacks on civilians are a near-daily occurrence.
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