|Author (Corporate)||United Nations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
|Series Title||Press Release|
Warning Europe was running out of time to solve the current refugee situation, Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, outlined on the 4 March 2016 a detailed six-point plan ahead of a key meeting of European Union leaders and Turkey in Brussels on the 7 March 2016.
He called for strong leadership and vision to address what he said was 'as much a crisis of European solidarity as it is a refugee crisis'.
UNHCR noted the situation was quickly deteriorating with some 35,000 people now in Greece, of whom nearly 20,000 were in the Idomeni region with around 11,000 on or near the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The six-point plan comprised:
1) The full Implementation of the so-called 'hot spot' approach and relocation of asylum seekers out of Greece and Italy and, at the same time, to return individuals who do not qualify for refugee protection, including under existing readmission agreements.
2) Step up support to Greece to handle the humanitarian emergency, including for refugee status determination, relocation, and return or readmission.
3) Ensure compliance with all the EU laws and directives on asylum among Member States.
4) Make available more safe, legal ways for refugees to travel to Europe under managed programmes – for example humanitarian admission programmes, private sponsorships, family reunion, student scholarships and labour mobility schemes – so that refugees do not resort to smugglers and traffickers to find safety.
5) Safe-guard individuals at risk, including systems to protect unaccompanied and separated children, measures to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, enhancing search and rescue operations at sea, saving lives by cracking down on smuggling, and countering xenophobia and racism targeted at refugees and migrants.
6) Develop Europe-wide systems of responsibility for asylum-seekers, including the creation of registration centres in main countries of arrival, and setting up a system for asylum requests to be distributed in an equitable way across EU Member States.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|
|Countries / Regions||Europe, Greece, North Macedonia, Southeastern Europe|