» World leaders approve UN plan for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants
20.09.2016 - UNESCOPRESS

World leaders approve UN plan for responding to large movements of refugees and migrants

© Ignacio MarinIdomeni refugee camp (Greece)

The United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants concluded with the full endorsement and adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants on Monday night.

The Declaration identifies a number of key commitments based on a humane and coordinated approach to dealing with the unprecedented movement of people under difficult and often dangerous circumstances. 

The commitments that governments have agreed to make include, among others: 

  • To protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants regardless of their status;
  • To ensure all refugee and migrant children are in education within a few months of arrival;
  • To work towards ending the practice of detaining children because of their immigration status;
  • To strongly condemn xenophobia and implement a global campaign to counter it. 

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who is in New York for the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, said the Declaration provides a clear way forward to addressing this humanitarian crisis.

UNESCO will participate in the implementation of the Declaration’s commitments through existing programmes that have already been engaged in response to the needs of refugees and migrants. These include ensuring learners can find their way into the classroom through the recognition of foreign qualification; combatting xenophobia by working with media to counter stereotypes; and working with local governments to create welcoming communities through the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities - ICCAR.

Finally, the Organization will contribute to interagency follow-up initiatives through its involvement in the Global Migration Group, a platform composed of 17 UN entities and the International Organization for Migration. 

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