QUNO was pleased to have delivered two oral statements drawing attention to the human rights of migrants at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
The first statement, delivered by Human Rights and Refugees Representative Laurel Townhead, focused on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the human rights of migrants. In addressing the High Commissioner for Human Rights during an Enhanced Interactive Dialogue, QUNO welcomed pandemic responses that have taken into account human rights of migrants such as including firewalls between healthcare and immigration enforcement. In this statement, QUNO encouraged States to learn from best practice and move towards implementing measures to protect migrants during a pandemic in which they are disproportionately affected. It was particularly interesting to note the many Sates which underlined in their statements the impact the pandemic has had on groups in situations of vulnerability including migrants and refugees. Recognising the importance of centering migrant voices in discussions around the pandemic and immigration, QUNO called for the Council to hold a panel in which migrants can contribute to the dialogue.
The latter statement was delivered by Human Rights and Refugees Programme Assistant Najmah Ali to the Working Group on Mercenaries. In this statement, QUNO stressed the importance of a recent report by the Working Group on immigration and border management. This report detailed the widespread human rights violations of migrants rights as a result of increased securitisation and externalisation of border management which is compounded by the outsourcing of inherent State functions to private companies. In line with ongoing work on the role of the Human Rights Council in responding to violations and abuses of the human rights of migrants, QUNO asked the Working Group what more the Council could do in strengthening its response.
The full statements and links to watch them are available below.