Human rights violations are still forcing people to flee, worsening the refugee problem in many parts of the world, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata said today.
In a statement in Paris marking the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, she said there had been some progress in finding solutions to refugee problems. “But much more needs to be done. Today, one in every 120 people on earth has been forced to flee because of violence or persecution.”
This year alone, 215,000 people had fled from Sierra Leone, where rebel forces had committed terrible atrocities against civilians. Sierra Leoneans were now Africa’s biggest refugee population, numbering 440,000 in Guinea and Liberia, she said.
“Promoting respect for human rights values and creating conditions which make it possible for refugees to return home cannot be done by humanitarian agencies alone. Eliminating the causes of refugee flight requires continued commitment and timely political involvement by the international community,” she said, adding: “Humanitarian action can save lives, but it can never be a substitute for political action.”
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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