UNHCR appeals on Somalia for international obligations on non-refoulement to be observed
On May 11th, UNHCR issued new eligibility guidelines on the protection needs of Somali asylum seekers. On May 12th, we notified donors of our concerns over the deteriorating situation in Somalia.
Today, we are appealing to all states to uphold their international obligations with regard to non-refoulement. Returns to central and southern Somalia must only take place on a strictly voluntary basis.
The practice of states with regard to assessment of protection needs regrettably varies quite a lot. In recent months there have been incidents of returns. Since the release of our eligibility guidelines these have included a further reported deportation, of over 100 Somalis from Saudi Arabia to Mogadishu in mid May.
UNHCR is concerned by the plight of Somalis globally and believes that a consistent international approach is needed to ensure that the international protection needs of refugees from Somalia are met. We again urge governments to pay close heed to UNHCRs new eligibility guidelines.