The United Nations refugee agency has updated its ‘toolkit’ for protecting vulnerable people on the move, in response to a sharp increase in global flows of both refugees and migrants in the decade since it was published.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) issued its original 10-point plan of action in 2006.
“What this10-point plan on mixed movements does is collect practices, good examples, and ways and means to deal with the phenomenon of human mobility in all its dimensions – in its refugee dimension, but also its migratory dimension,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk.
Mr. Türk noted that, since 2006, the number of people on the move worldwide as a result of conflict, violence and persecution has roughly doubled to 65 million, including over 21 million refugees.
The updated plan takes into account larger and more complex flows of people in today’s world, such as an increase in the number of people seeking safety beyond the countries of first asylum – in Europe, and other parts of the world such as the Northern Triangle of Central America, and Southeast Asia – and the growing use of smuggling and trafficking routes by mixed flows of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.
“It is clear that countries and organizations such as UNHCR and NGOs [non-governmental organizations] will have to deal with these new realities,” Türk said. “The 10-point plan shows practically, on the basis of over 100 new examples that were added to make the case, that indeed you can manage and address these phenomena,” he added.
It provides a “nuts and bolts” approach to help states and humanitarian workers identify vulnerable people on the move and in need of international protection, and respond appropriately to their needs, Türk said.