19 November 2023: UNHCR warns against “exporting” asylum, calls for responsibility sharing for refugees, not burden shifting
Amid considerations by some governments to send asylum seekers abroad for processing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging states not to externalize their asylum and protection obligations. UNHCR warns that such practices jeopardize the safety of those in need of international protection.
“UNHCR remains firmly opposed to externalization initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries. Externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations. Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them and may put their lives at risk,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.
“It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, attempts are being made to weaken its principles and spirit. Instead, the priority must be to find more effective ways to guarantee the universal right to seek asylum and other rights provided by international refugee law.”