International Red Cross and Red Crescent MovementCall for the protection of vulnerable migrants to be recognized as a universal responsibility
In the past few years, the number of people embarking on dangerous journeys by sea and land to seek protection or better life opportunities across borders has grown exponentially. Their journeys are perilous, and have become more so partly due to stricter migration policies and border control practices that limit access to asylum. Episodes of xenophobia, discrimination, and violence against migrants are also on the rise. These factors contribute to increasing the vulnerability of people on the move.
Today, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement calls on States to ensure the protection and dignified treatment of migrants along migratory routes. Specifically, we ask them to:
- Take all necessary steps to protect the safety, well-being and dignity of all migrants, regardless of their legal status. At a minimum, these steps include the full access to humanitarian assistance, as well as being fully prepared to search and rescue people in distress at sea, and to protect and assist victims of human trafficking.
- Grant asylum seekers access to adequate international protection determination procedures and ensure their access to relevant services, such as medical care, and the means to restore family links. Families of migrants should not be separated.
- Stop labeling migrants as ‘illegal’: failing to comply with migration rules may put the behavior of some of these vulnerable persons at odds with the law, but it cannot transform them into “illegal persons” nor obviate the need for respect and assistance.
- Clearly articulate their rejection of violence, xenophobia and discrimination against migrants.
- Work to find political, economic and social solutions to address the root causes of forced migration
Today, stand in solidarity with vulnerable migrants and add your own voice to our collective call to make the responsibility to #ProtectHumanity a universal one. This call will be presented at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva in December, 2015.