NGO names worst violators of refugee rights, criticizes border policies

[JURIST] European nations are among the worst violators of refugee rights [country list] because of the countries' strict border policies and their treatment of refugee seekers, according to a report [materials] released by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) [official website] on Thursday. The 60 main refugee host countries were graded [grade report, PDF; report grading policy, PDF] based on their adherence to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees [text], specifically evaluating refugee policies on physical protection, detention and access to courts, labor, and freedom of movement. The report criticized France and Britain [JURIST asylum reports] for returning asylum seekers to their home countries, and graded Russia as one of the worst refugee rights violators because of its "Byzantine system of rules and regulations that made it virtually impossible for asylum seekers to obtain legal refugee status." Five Asian countries, including Bangladesh, China, India, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as Iraq and the African nations of Sudan and Kenya, were also named the worst violators of refugee rights. AFP has more.

USCRI released the report a day before the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) World Refugee Day [press release], designed to highlight the "need and right to protection that refugees deserve." Of the countries included in the USCRI report, Benin, Brazil and Mali earned the highest score in each of the four categories. The United States earned low scores for its refugee policies on physical protection and access to courts, which the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (CIRF) [official website] also criticized [text; JURIST report] in early 2007.

 

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