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Regional Conference on "Refugee Protection and International Migration in the Gulf of Aden"

Migration, 31 May 2008

Conference Binder

The "Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in the Gulf of Aden" was held on May 19-20, 2008 in Sana'a, Yemen. It was convened by UNHCR in cooperation with the Mixed Migration Task Force Somalia, an inter-agency coordination mechanism, and with funding from the European Commission. Its principal objective was to contribute to the establishment of a regional medium and longer term plan of action on refugee protection and mixed migration in the Gulf of Aden region. In plenary and in eight different working groups, representatives from both sides of the Gulf of Aden made recommendations on how best to meet these challenges and how cross-regional cooperation could be improved.

Below is a copy of the binder distributed at the conference as well as several documents generated during and after the meeting.

1. MAIN CONFERENCE DOCUMENTS


2. MIXED MIGRATION TASK FORCE SOMALIA: MIXED MIGRATION THROUGH SOMALIA AND ACROSS THE GULF OF ADEN


3. UNHCR TEN-POINT PLAN ON MIXED MIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION


4. REFUGEE PROTECTION AND MIXED MIGRATION IN THE GULF OF ADEN REGION: DRAFT STRATEGIES


5. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON MIXED MIGRATION


6. SELECTED LEGAL AND POLICY RESOURCES

International Refugee Law

International Human Rights Law

International Law of the Sea

Regional Migration Law and Policy


7. MEDIA COVERAGE


Download the collection of conference documents in zipped format for offline browsing and/or printing here: Regional Conference on Refugee Protection and International Migration in the Gulf of Aden [zipped file, 10Mb]

Conference posters: download the conference poster series [zipped file, 9.3Mb]

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Asylum-Seekers

UNHCR advocates fair and efficient procedures for asylum-seekers

Asylum and Migration

Asylum and Migration

All in the same boat: The challenges of mixed migration around the world.

International Migration

The link between movements of refugees and broader migration attracts growing attention.

Statistics

Numbers are important in the aid business and UNHCR's statisticians monitor them daily.

Zero-Star "Hotel" that Asylum-Seekers Call Home in Dijon

France is one of the main destinations for asylum-seekers in Europe, with some 55,000 new asylum applications in 2012. As a result of the growing number of applicants, many French cities are facing an acute shortage of accommodation for asylum-seekers.

The government is trying to address the problem and, in February 2013, announced the creation of 4,000 additional places in state-run reception centres for asylum-seekers. But many asylum-seekers are still forced to sleep rough or to occupy empty buildings. One such building, dubbed the "Refugee Hotel" by its transient population, lies on the outskirts of the eastern city of Dijon. It illustrates the critical accommodation situation.

The former meat-packing plant is home to about 100 asylum-seekers, mostly from Chad, Mali and Somalia, but also from Georgia, Kosovo and other Eastern European countries. Most are single men, but there are also two families.

In this dank, rat-infested empty building, the pipes leak and the electricity supply is sporadic. There is only one lavatory, two taps with running water, no bathing facilities and no kitchen. The asylum-seekers sleep in the former cold-storage rooms. The authorities have tried to close the squat several times. These images, taken by British photographer Jason Tanner, show the desperate state of the building and depict the people who call it home.

Zero-Star "Hotel" that Asylum-Seekers Call Home in Dijon

The Faces of Asylum

Everyone has a right to be treated humanely and with dignity. But asylum-seekers can sometimes be detained for years, forced to exist on the edge of society and struggle for their right to protection, while in some cases suffering human rights abuses. Their temporary new homes - a long way from the ones they left behind - can be sports halls, churches, closed centres, makeshift shelters or simply the street. Lives are put on hold while people wait in the hope of receiving refugee status.

Although it is the legitimate right of any government to secure its borders and prevent irregular immigration, it is important that anyone seeking asylum in a country have access to it. According to international law, states are obliged to provide protection to those in need, and must not return a person to a place where their life or freedom is threatened.

This photo set looks at the faces of people seeking asylum in industrialized countries - the real people behind the numbers, crossing land borders and oceans in search of safety, work or just a better life.

The Faces of Asylum

Beyond the Border

In 2010, the Turkish border with Greece became the main entry point for people attempting by irregular methods to reach member states of the European Union, with over 132,000 arrivals. While some entered as migrants with the simple wish of finding a better life, a significant number fled violence or persecution in countries such as Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Somalia. The journey is perilous, with many reports of drowning when people board flimsy vessels and try to cross the Mediterranean Sea or the River Evros on the border between Greece and Turkey. The many deficiencies in the Greek asylum system are exacerbated by the pressure of tens of thousands of people awaiting asylum hearings. Reception facilities for new arrivals, including asylum-seekers, are woefully inadequate. Last year, UNHCR visited a number of overcrowded facilities where children, men and women were detained in cramped rooms with insufficient facilities. UNHCR is working with the Greek government to improve its asylum system and has called upon other European states to offer support.

Beyond the Border

Italy: Fashion Designer in MilanPlay video

Italy: Fashion Designer in Milan

Single mother Lamia had her own fashion workshop in Syria, she comes from a comfortable background but lost all her money in the war. Under the sound of gunfire she closed the workshop, took her two children and headed to Sudan in a lorry with dozens other people. She is now seeking asylum in Italy's fashion capital, Milan.

Italy: Haunted by a Sinking Ship Play video

Italy: Haunted by a Sinking Ship

"Every time I try to sleep I see what I saw in the water, what happened to me, the dead children" Thamer & Thayer, brothers from Syria, escaped war, then unrest in Libya only to be faced with death on the Mediterranean The Lampedusa boat tragedies sparked a debate on asylum policies in Europe, leading Italian authorities to launch a search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea. Called Mare Nostrum, the operation had rescued more than 63,000 people at the time this video was published in July 2014.
Italy: Mediterranean RescuePlay video

Italy: Mediterranean Rescue

The Italy Navy rescues hundreds of migrants and asylum seekers on the high seas as the numbers of people undertaking the crossing of the Mediterranean from North Africa grows.