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Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Vatican calls for urgent protection of refugees
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 Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office in Geneva, called for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers when he spoke at the 53rd Session of the Executive Committee of the Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The head of the delegation of the Holy See referred to two specific questions which, he said: "require urgent attention for the future: The 'asylum-migration' nexus must be addressed urgently and systematically. ... The lack of intelligent immigration policies only increases the likelihood of the trafficking of persons, while vast resources are diverted to counteracting the movement of those who might in fact bring a useful contribution to the economic and social progress in the host country." Archbishop Martin then spoke about the second question, the protection of children. He said: "Refugee children, including adolescents under 18, constitute about 45% of all refugees. ... The serious allegations regarding the sexual exploitation of refugee children clearly point to the need of a continual review of the policies of UNHCR and all its partners in this area." He concluded by emphasizing that "the community of nations affirms today with renewed vigour that the systematic use of sexual exploitation, of children or adults, by humanitarian operators remains equally unacceptable."
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