"Protect all migrants?" - UN Summit on Refugees & Migrants

19 September 2016

On September 19, in a historic first, UN member states are expected to come together to work on a more “coordinated and humane approach to address large movements of refugees and migrants” and agree upon the New York Declaration. With 5,7491 people dying on borders across the world in the past 12 months alone, and MSF teams around the world treating hundreds and thousands of men, women and children suffering from the effects of increasingly restrictive asylum and migration policies, the meeting couldn’t come at a better time.

Yet, while the draft New York Declaration seems well intentioned, its content is overly vague and lacks a sense of urgency to really improve the lives of migrants and refugees. A declaration that aims for “concrete results in 2018” is detached from any real will to grapple with the global displacement crisis we see today. The reality, as witnessed by MSF teams from Mexico, to Cameroon, to Greece, is that many of the UN Member States expected to sign the declaration are already in contravention of it, their harmful migration and asylum policies increasing the suffering of millions of migrants and refugees.

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