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NGOs Issue Vision Statement Ahead of UN Meeting on Refugees and Migrants

Aug 02, 2016

Publication

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.

 Signed,

American Jewish Committee

Anti-Defamation League

Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies

CARE International

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

Global Communities

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

RefugePoint

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