UNHCR recommends suspension of forced returns to Mali

The UNHCR set out its new position regarding returns to Mali.

The UNHCR recommends the suspension of forced returns of nationals and habitual residents of Mali until the security and human rights situation has stabilised to the extent that it is safe to resume returns. The security in Mali deteriorated since the coup on 22 March 2012. This led to large scale displacements into neighbouring countries.

The position paper can be found here.

Deputy Prime Minister's speech to mark 60 year of the Refugee Council

The Deputy Prime Minister gave a keynote speech on 10 May 2011 to mark the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the formation of the Refugee Council in the UK.

The DPM accepted that there is still more progress to be made, but praised the UK's role in human rights issues.

He hoped that the UK should aim for the 'most compassionate, efficient, dignified asylum system in the world.' He pointed out that half of asylum cases are now decided within a month, and promised to ensure the system is fair as it becomes faster.

He said that just as important as helping refugees was taking a stand against regimes that pose a threat to peace and restricts the liberty of their people — he highlighted Burma, North Korea, Libya and Syria.