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Refugees and migration
Media Release

The Elders call for greater ambition and empathy from world leaders on refugees

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Photo: DFID / Flickr

Ahead of the HLOM, The Elders are calling for the expansion of safe routes and an end to hostile asylum policies including unlawful pushbacks – such policies are an affront to human dignity.

Ban Ki-moon, former UN Secretary-General and Deputy Chair of The Elders, said: 

“Ahead of this month’s High-Level Officials Meeting under the Global Compact on Refugees, I encourage states to increase their commitments to deliver an equitable global framework for responsibility-sharing. 

Global resettlement targets, which were already insufficient, have been missed. We need to see greater ambition, solidarity and empathy from world leaders on refugees. The US commitment to a goal of 125,000 resettlement places is welcome, and now needs to be implemented. The EU should similarly commit to meet 40% of global resettlement needs over the next ten years, starting with 36,000 resettlement places in 2022.

Governments must also uphold their international asylum obligations.  Forcible transfer of asylum-seekers for processing in another country – a policy pursued by Australia, and now Denmark and others – directly undermines the core principle of global responsibility-sharing.  And I am deeply concerned about the damaging precedent that would be set by the UK’s proposed two-tier system. This discriminates against asylum-seekers arriving through irregular routes, even if they have a valid asylum claim.  Such policies are contrary to the Refugee Convention and threaten the integrity of the global asylum system.”


For media inquiries, please contact William French, Head of Communications (+44 7795 69390) or email: media@theElders.org

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