UN bolsters ties with European network to protect refugees and asylum-seekers

28 September 2007

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), a network of 76 organizations in 31 countries, agreed to enhance their collaboration to promote better treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers.

The memorandum of understanding signed between UNHCR and ECRE earlier this week “establishes an important strategic partnership in support of efforts to ensure fair and humane policies for the treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in Europe,” UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told reporters in Geneva.

The new partnership aims to enhance existing cooperation in the fields of advocacy, monitoring and capacity-building initiatives between the two organizations, as well as efforts to increase Europe’s role in sharing responsibility for protecting refugees worldwide, she added.

UNHCR seeks to encourage civil society to increase its participation in shaping and implementing protection principles in Europe. “In this respect, ECRE is a trusted partner serving as an independent monitor of protections systems,” Ms. Pagonis noted.


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