IUNW Calls for Halting Deportations of Refugees and Migrants During COVID19
The International United Nations Watch (IUNW) calls United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, to urge member states to end all deportations of migrants and refugees for as long as the COVID19 pandemic lasts. Despite the rising toll and concerted global efforts to stem the spread of the lethal virus, some countries continue to deport migrants and refugees.
These deportations pose a serious threat to the health of migrants and refugees, most of whom lack access to healthcare and medical facilities. As the world becomes more aware of the fault lines besetting health systems generally in the battle to contain and overcome COVID19, the threat to refugees and migrants, among those most vulnerable to the virus, is becoming more evident.
COVID19 indeed has brought a halt to deportations of migrants and refugees in countries such as Germany, but not in others. For example, as reported by the New York Times the United States has deported thousands of migrants to countries hard-hit the virus such as Guatemala. 75% of these migrants tested positive on a single day upon arrival in the Central American country.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has reportedly deported 800 Somali migrant workers to Yemen, putting their lives at risk. Last month, Saudi Arabia deported some 2,000 Ethiopian workers, again without prior coordination with the relevant authorities in Ethiopia.
European countries have cited concerns over the spread of COVID19 as their reason for shutting down borders and ports of entry to deter incoming refugees and migrants Hungary and Canada have cited COVID19 explicitly as cause to refuse entry to asylum seekers arriving in their territory and also as reason for deporting others.
The International United Nations Watch (IUNW) calls on UN member states to put an immediate end to the practice of deporting migrants and refugees during the pandemic. At the same time, IUNW acknowledging that migrants and refugees should be subject to the same restrictions and health regime measures as citizens of the countries that host them. Far from being a responsible life-saving measure, deporting refugees amid f a global pandemic only serves to put theirs and other lives at risk.