On the occasion of World Refugee Day on 20 June 2022, the Council of Europe and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) emphasise that anyone fleeing war, conflict or persecution or risking violence, abuse or exploitation, has the right to seek safety and protection.
Almost four months into the war in Ukraine, millions of refugees have crossed the country’s borders and many more have been internally displaced. The global number of people on the move has reached an unprecedented level with more than 100 million persons being forcibly displaced as reported in UNHCR’s Global Trends 2021.
”Human rights are central to safety and protection. The Council of Europe standards apply to everyone in need, with particular attention to the rights of those in vulnerable situations, such as migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking women and girls, unaccompanied and separated children, and elderly persons”, said the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, Leyla Kayacik (SRSG).
The Council of Europe Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons in the Context of Migration and Asylum in Europe (2021-2025) proposes notably targeted measures and activities to enhance the capacity of member states to identify and address vulnerabilities throughout asylum and migration procedures.
“Every person has the right to seek safety and to have access to human rights, whoever they are, wherever they come from, and whenever they are forced to flee. Together with the Council of Europe and its member states UNHCR continues working to safeguard the rights of forcibly displaced persons.” said Andreas Wissner, UNHCR Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg.