A catastrophe might be coming unless action is taken now – Refugees and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

The situation of the refugees at the global level is worsening each day. Following the report of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) that announced that more than 60 million people have been driven from their homes by war and persecution – half of the displaced are children a catastrophic rise of tragic cases of new refugees and displaced has been circulating in the media.

Our societies are currently characterised by the generation of social imbalances. What is evident is the lack of political will, coordination and control at the global level in order to create global stability. These interactions produce and reproduce conflicts of all kinds, in different open and closed spaces and at different moments, constant and sporadic, which end up generating external and internal dislocations. This imbalance is being created by emerging processes of absorption and fragmentation within morphogenetic spaces which are affecting all social structures.

The situation of these new refugees has been created in a context of ongoing conflicts that are creating massive and recurrent displacements. In addition to that, according to recent statistics from the UNHCR in the last 5 years at least 5 conflicts has been created. Countries such as Ivory Coast, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and Burundi have faced these new challenges. The situation in Myanmar and Syria revealed to the world how desperate the situation is. Despite many meetings and many talks by some members of the international community the case of the Rohingya people has not improved. There are now more than 4,000,000 syrian refugees who very soon will not have anything to eat and the Situation in Yemen also seems to get even worse.

The response of the international community has been minimal. Governments are not expressing their solidarity by providing protection to these people. Instead, european countries has seek to protect themselves against what they call illegal economic migrants. Hungary for instance, has decided to build walls against the serbs, similar measures has been adopted in the UK and France. Greece on the other hand, is facing not only an economic crisis, but also, a refugee crisis receiving thousands of refugees who arrive daily. What is worst is that countries such as Australia has decided even to act against international law in order to prevent massive immigration.

This means that States are simply not fulfilling its obligations under international law. Despite the diverse commitments acquired at the international level human rights violations are increasing at an alarming level. A total of 145 countries have ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention, however, the main pattern revealed in all these cases is particularly the omission of States in their extraterritorial obligations. On the other hand, agencies such as the UNHCR are not able to cope with such increase, leading them to suspend activities due to lack of funds.

This situation has brought new challenges at the international level. What is really urgent is to adopt specific, sustainable and coordinated measures so that  refugees are able to meet their vital minimum such as access to Food, Health and Housing. In addition to that, many of the refugee children needs to receive education, for example, according to the UNHCR 80% of school-age Afghan refugees out of school, only 33% can read & write. Governments should increase their efforts in helping the worst refugee crisis in generations by coordinating new effective and durable solutions. Instead of protecting themselves by adopting military approaches the international community should coordinate efforts to search for a pragmatic way of solving this crisis.  An urgent solution is needed. Unless States take action immediately the lives of thousands of refugees would be at risk.

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