UNHCR encouraged by Canada's handling of Tamil boat people case
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR continues to follow the developing situation of 490 Sri Lankan nationals of Tamil origin, former passengers of the cargo ship MV Sun Sea which docked at Vancouver Island in British Columbia last Friday. According to our staff in British Columbia, all 490 passengers have claimed asylum.
Based on what we have seen thus far, we commend the exemplary work of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) in coordinating the arrival and reception of the MV Sun Sea passengers. The reception site was well designed, and needs in terms of information gathering, food and water have been well anticipated. In addition, the priorities for safe disembarkation of the ship were clearly defined with medical needs topping the list for those on board, who include men, women and children.
UNHCR supports the important work of law enforcement agencies in combating human smuggling, an issue that has received much attention in relation to the MV Sun Sea case. It is nonetheless important to recognize that while refugees and migrants might use the same means of transportation, sometimes illegal, refugees are a distinct group with critical protection needs. It is not a crime to seek asylum.
UNHCR recognizes the considerable challenges that disembarkation and the processing of people from MV Sun Sea will entail. We will be following these activities on an ad-hoc basis to help compliance with the relevant provisions for treatment of persons seeking asylum and refugee status.
In the case of Sri Lanka, UNHCR has recently issued revised guidelines to assist decision-makers in reviewing claims to asylum. Those guidelines include our recommendation that in light of the improved security situation since the end of Sri Lanka's conflict in May 2009, claims by asylum seekers from that country should be considered on their individual merits rather than on a group basis.
According to UNHCR's most recent statistics, there are a total of 146,098 Sri Lanka refugees in 64 countries. India (73,269), France (20,464), Canada (19,143), Germany (12,248), United Kingdom (8,615), Switzerland (2,836), Malaysia (2,132), Australia (2,070), United States (1,561) and Italy (964) are the top 10 countries hosting Sri Lankan refugees. There are also 7,562 Sri Lankan asylum seekers known to UNHCR in 57 countries. The top ten countries hosting Sri Lankan asylum-seekers are: Switzerland, Malaysia, Canada, Germany, Norway, Thailand, US, Netherlands, Japan and Australia. Last year, 34,000 new asylum seekers submitted their claims in Canada.
Related news and stories
Canadian entrepreneur invests millions in Syrian refugees
Meet the Canadian businessmen who sponsored over 200 Syrian refugees
Christian community welcomes Syrian family to Canada
Meet the Hutterites colony who stepped up to sponsor the Al Hamoud family from Syria
Thuy (right) and her partner have committed to becoming a safety net for the Nouman family.
Syrian family find safe harbour on the shores of Canada
Your search for « Sri Lanka tamil group individual » matched 254 results. Displaying page 1 of 29 pages.
UNHCR encouraged by Canada's handling of Tamil boat people case17 Aug 2010 ... 490 Sri Lankan nationals of Tamil origin, former passengers of ... refugees are a distinct group with critical protection needs. ... In the case of Sri Lanka, UNHCR has recently issued revised ......
Sri Lanka Fact SheetAug 2015 ... UNHCR FACTSHEET U NHCR FACTSHEET HIGHLI 1704 Individuals w on Internati Protection, Principles, C Policing and integration Popula A total of 5 By country Country Afghanist ......
Key Initiatives: Cash-Based Interventions11 Mar 2015 ... Cash-Based Interventions Sri Lanka / Tamil refugees / The first group of Sri Lankan refugees returning by sea from India ... Individuals typically need not remove their glasses or contact lenses to be ......
UNHCR Global Report 2003 - Sri Lanka1 Jun 2004 ... Sri Lanka Main objectives P romote and protect the rights of ... and vulnerable individuals and other groups at risk, with special ... • 190,000 stateless Tamils were granted citizenship ......
Citizenship and statelessness in South Asia, Gerrard Khan1 Oct 2001 ... subcontinent: the Estate Tamils in Sri Lanka; the Bhutanese in Nepal; and ... These groups assume certain powers and rights with regard to ... Individuals gain access to rights and legitimacy through ......
UNHCR starts to scale back in eastern Sri Lanka, closing Batticaloa office28 Jun 2010 ... BATTICALOA, Sri Lanka, June 28 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency is starting to scale back its operations to help internally displaced people in eastern Sri Lanka and is closing its office in Batticaloa ......
Ferry returns of Sri Lankan refugees from India due to start Wednesday11 Oct 2011 ... UNHCR is expecting the first returns of Sri Lankan refugees by commercial ferry from India to start on Wednesday, 12th October. The returns are part of a voluntary, facilitated repatriation programme, ......
UNHCR Global Appeal 2011 (update) - Sri Lanka1 Dec 2010 ... Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May 2009 changed the operational environment in Sri Lanka. ... and assist with individual protection ... situation of this group. £ UNHCR will ......
UNHCR Global Report 2001 - South Asia Regional Overview1 Jun 2002 ... Nepal Sri Lanka Major Developments The 100,000 Bhutanese remaining in Nepal consti- tuted the single largest refugee group in the ... and the separatist Libe-ration Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). ......