[May 27] Webinar on “Protecting Refugees and Migrants During the Pandemic: Camps and Closed Centres Under Lockdown” by OSCE PA
Photo: OSCE PA. Webinar on “Protecting Refugees and Migrants During the Pandemic: Camps and Closed Centres Under Lockdown”
In the midst of COVID-19 pandemic limiting people from holding offline meetings, OSCE PA is continuously hosting webinars to gather parliamentarians for crucial discussions about how to improve the situation in diverse fields. It has convened another webinar under the theme “Protecting refugees and migrants during the pandemic: Camps and closed centres under lockdown,” on May 26.
The webinar was held as the Assembly recognized refugees and asylum seekers as some of the most marginalized people, which makes them more vulnerable to the contraction of the virus. George Tsereteli (Georgia), OSCE PA President, Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden), Vice-President, Dunja Mijatovic, Acting Chair of the OSCE PA Ad Hoc Committee on Migration, Gianluca Rocco, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Lord Alf Dubs (United Kingdom), Chief of Mission and Regional Response Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration Office in Greece, Roberto Montella, Member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Migration and OSCE PA Secretary General, and 12 parliamentarians participated in the discussion.
During the meeting, Cederfelt stated that they need to guarantee necessary health care to the migrants and impose proportionate and non-discriminatory measures of quarantine and isolation. “Human rights and shared responsibility must take centre stage to protect the dignity of those affected, and to make these systems more resilient to future crises,” Commissioner Mijatovic added. Gianluca Rocco, Chief of the IOM Mission in Greece and Regional Response Coordinator, explained to the OSCE PA members about the current situation in Greece, as it is a migrant ‘hotspot’ in Europe, and emphasized the need to share relocation efforts of vulnerable populations with other EU member states.
The members also discussed other related issues, such as unaccompanied minors issues and concerns about spiking racism and xenophobia. The participants agreed that a high level of co-ordination among countries, sharing of information and experience, and support from relevant international organizations to solve the problems related to migration are crucial.
Parry, N. (2020, May 26). Protecting refugees and migrants from COVID-19 essential for protecting wider society, participants say in OSCE PA webinar. Retrieved from https://www.oscepa.org/news-a-media/press-releases/2020/protecting-refugees-and-migrants-from-covid-19-essential-for-protecting-wider-society-participants-say-in-osce-pa-webinar
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