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UNHCR urges Ghana to cease forced return of Burkinabe nationals in need of protection

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UNHCR urges Ghana to cease forced return of Burkinabe nationals in need of protection

12 July 2023 Also available in:
Côte d'Ivoire. Women who have fled from Burkina Faso gathered in a school to be identified by UNHCR partners

Dakar, 12 July 2023 - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned by the reports about deportations of hundreds of Burkinabe citizens, mainly women and children, who sought safety and protection in Ghana.

UNHCR calls on the Government of Ghana to cease these expulsions, which amount to a violation of the non-refoulement principle, and guarantee access to the territory and asylum to nationals of Burkina Faso seeking international protection.

Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle enshrined in international law, which prohibits the return of an asylum seeker or a refugee to countries where his life or freedom would be threatened.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been collaborating with the Government of Ghana to support its efforts to ensure the protection of over 8,000 Burkinabe nationals who sought protection on its territory as a result of the ongoing conflict in their country of origin. In the framework of this cooperation, a Reception Centre managed jointly by the Ghana Refugee Board and UNHCR with a capacity of 4,000 individuals has been inaugurated in the Upper East Region to relocate Burkinabe refugees away from the border for security reasons.

Ghana has a longstanding history of upholding its international obligations towards refugees, and UNHCR stands ready to support the Government to address the needs of Burkinabe nationals fleeing the ongoing conflict.

For more information please contact:

In Dakar, Alpha Seydi Ba,  
Regional Spokesperson for West and Central Africa, [email protected] 

In Ghana, Patience Folley, 
Communications Associate, [email protected]