UN Agency Launches Plan to Deal with Refugee Crisis in Europe

UN Refugees15GENEVA – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued Friday a six-point plan to guide EU member states in solving the refugee crisis which is showing no signs of abating.
“We are running out of time, and strong leadership and vision are urgently needed from European leaders to deal with what is, in my view, a situation that can still be managed if properly addressed,” said High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in a statement.
“This is as much a crisis of European solidarity as it is a refugee crisis,” he added.
UNHCR suggested fully implementing the ‘hot spot’ approach and the relocation of asylum seekers out of Greece and Italy while returning those who don’t qualify for refugee protection.
The UN agency also called for increased support to Greece to address the humanitarian emergency, while ensuring compliance with all EU laws and asylum directives by member states.
The agency also proposed to make available safer, legal ways for refugees to travel to Europe through humanitarian admission programmes, private sponsorships, family reunion, student scholarships and labor mobility schemes.
The safe-guard of individuals at risk, including unaccompanied and separated children, and the implementation of measures preventing sexual and gender-based violence were integral to the plan.
Finally, UNHCR called for Europe-wide systems of responsibility to achieve a managed and orderly solution to the crisis which has already seen close to 135,000 migrants reach EU soil this year. -Xinhua

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