More than 30 NGOs who work on refugee, migration and human rights issues, including HIAS, issued a joint statement urging that the upcoming High Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants at the United Nations General Assembly affirm a few basic principles. The full text of that statement is below.
With more refugees and displaced persons than at any time since the Second World War, the international community and its member states have failed refugees. States, working closely with civil society, must do more to share responsibility with countries of first asylum for refugees, most of which are developing countries. We all must do better to end forced displacement and protracted refugee situations.
We call upon the heads of state gathered for the High Level Meeting to Address Large Scale of Movements of Migrants and Refugees to join us and declare a simple vision, that their governments pledge to work, individually and collectively as members of the international community, to ensure that:
(1) Every refugee can access asylum from persecution;
(2) Every refugee will be given the opportunity for a durable solution to his or her plight, to be and feel safe, welcome, and at home, without having to wait years for that solution;
(3) Every refugee, displaced person, and migrant is entitled to the same human rights as everyone else.
Responsibility sharing for refugees is in fact opportunity sharing for states, as refugees can be great contributors to their new societies, if only given the opportunity to do so.
Such a vision statement is not meant to replace any outcomes document to be agreed upon by the states, nor any global compact on refugees and migrants, but to describe the spirit behind the High Level Meeting and the context of any documents which emerge from it.
American Jewish Committee
Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies
Center for Migration Studies of New York
Center for Victims of Torture
Central Conference of American Rabbis
The Christian Reformed Church in North America
Church World Service
Episcopal Migration Ministries
Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Heartland Alliance International
HIAS, Global Jewish Organization for Refugees
Human Rights First
International Refugee Assistance Project
Islamic Relief USA
Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights
Jesuit Refugee Service
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Lutheran World Federation
Mercy-USA for Aid and Development
National Council of Jewish Women
Norwegian Refugee Council USA
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Institute Justice Team
T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Muslim Relief
U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
Women of Reform Judaism