The Geneva Refugee Convention is a cornerstone of international humanitarian cooperation.
Adopted 70 years ago, it is now heavily criticized.
Geneva - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has called on numerous countries to defend the principles of the Geneva Convention on Refugees.
He was alarmed because European and other countries were increasingly trying to evade their obligations, Grandi said on the 70th anniversary of the signing of the convention. Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) called on the EU to do more in the fight against the causes of flight.
The Geneva Refugee Convention, one of the most important pillars of international humanitarian cooperation, was passed on July 28, 1951. It guarantees protection and acceptance for people who are persecuted in their own country. The convention also obliges receiving countries not to send anyone back where they are threatened with persecution. Recently, the convention has been criticized again and again because of the high number of migrants and refugees. It only applies to the persecuted, not to people who are frustrated and seek a better life elsewhere.
Grandi emphasized that millions of lives had been saved thanks to the convention.
In his criticism, he did not mention any country by name.
However, he condemned the fact that the Greek coast guard was pushing refugee boats back to Turkey and that Chile had expelled Venezuelans without checking their entitlement to asylum individually.
He also criticized plans, for example in Great Britain or Denmark, to bring asylum seekers to third countries to check their applications there.
Grandi's authority, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), monitors compliance with the convention and looks after refugees worldwide.
"Hunger, misery, unrest"
“Experts estimate that the 20 million climate refugees today could become 100 million people in a few years who have lost their livelihood at home. The consequences are hunger, misery, unrest, ”said Minister Müller to the editorial network Germany on the occasion of the anniversary. “And in this situation, the World Food Program lacks money for urgently needed emergency aid in particularly affected regions. It's a scandal and absolutely short-sighted! "
It is also short-sighted that the EU has cut its development funds for the coming years. The 70th anniversary of the Geneva Refugee Convention should be a warning not to let up "in humanitarian engagement". The EU must do even more to overcome the causes of displacement and displacement. "Otherwise we will be even more confronted in Europe with the dramatic consequences of the global refugee crisis." Dpa