Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. (file) Photo: UNHCR/S. Hopper
30 January 2017 – The head of the United Nations refugee agency today said he is “deeply worried” by the uncertainty facing thousands of refugees around the world who are in the process of being resettled to the United States after the country suspended its refugee programme last week.
According to a news release from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 800 refugees were set to make America their new home this week alone, but instead find themselves barred from travelling to the US.
Ten refugees have made history at Rio2016 as members of the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team. They include two Syrian swimmers, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a marathoner from Ethiopia and five middle-distance runners from South Sudan.
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Conflict and persecution caused global forced displacement to escalate sharply in 2015, reaching the highest level ever recorded.
UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report said 65.3 million people were displaced as of the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million just 12 months earlier. This is not only a 21st-century high, but also the first time the threshold of 60 million has been crossed.
Sixty million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of war, persecution and terrible human rights violations. This number is astonishing, isn’t it? As members of a global society with access to endless streams of media, it is easy to hear numbers and figures and to get caught up in the politics of it all. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that each number represents a living, breathing, feeling human soul. Continue reading →
UNHCR is deeply saddened by the tragic death of the refugee who sustained fatal burns during the incident at the Nauru refugee settlement last week. UNHCR had been on Nauru undertaking a monitoring mission in relation to arrangements in place for the asylum-seekers and refugees transferred from Australia, and three staff were present at the site of the incident, though the man had not been interviewed by UNHCR or doctors accompanying the mission. Continue reading →
Following the decision handed down by the High Court of Australia this week in M68/2015, UNHCR affirms its long-standing position that Australia maintains responsibility for the protection of asylum seekers and refugees transferred to offshore processing centres under the existing bilateral arrangements with Nauru and Papua New Guinea respectively, and that any such arrangements must meet the respective countries’ international obligations. Continue reading →
On 26 November, a panel discussion focusing on the European refugee crisis was held at the ANU Centre for European Studies, organised by UNIC Canberra with support from the Embassy of Germany in Australia. Continue reading →