Better to Manage Refugees Than Refuse Them: UNHCR

“It’s an approach that the UNHCR has been working to put into practice around the world, introducing biometric ID programs for refugees in countries like Thailand, South Sudan, and Chad.”

It’s better to manage refugees than to refuse them.

Better to Manage Refugees Than Refuse Them: UNHCR

That’s the argument made by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Türk at a recent meeting of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee in New York. Türk said that the imposition of strict border controls, rather than improving the security of the countries imposing them, can actually make a difficult situation even more volatile, since it can drive refugees into the hands of human traffickers and make them vulnerable to terrorist organizations.

The better way, Türk argued, is to use biometric registration and effective background screening to process refugees. “When asylum-seekers and refugees are promptly registered and have their status determined in a fair and efficient manner, States can be more confident of who is on their territory,” he explained.

It’s an approach that the UNHCR has been working to put into practice around the world, introducing biometric ID programs for refugees in countries like Thailand, South Sudan, and Chad. These deployments have been performed in collaboration with governments seeking to deal with significant numbers of refugees – governments that evidently were persuaded of the advantages of this approach.

April 10, 2017 – by Alex Perala