UNHCR reacts to the Albania-Italy agreement for immigrants: We are not involved nor informed
The United Nations Refugee Agency has reacted regarding the Albania-Italy agreement.
In an official announcement, the UNHCR says it is not involved in, nor informed of, this agreement while adding that it will further discuss the details with the Italian and Albanian governments to better understand the implications for refugees and other people in need. international protection.
UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, is not a party to or involved in the Italy-Albania deal, which was announced on Monday. UNHCR was not informed or consulted about the content of the agreement or its details. We are currently seeking further information from the relevant authorities.
UNHCR's long-standing position The link is external is that returns or transfers to safe third countries can only be considered appropriate if certain standards are met – in particular, that those countries fully respect the rights deriving from the Refugee Convention and the obligations of human rights, and whether the agreement helps to share responsibility for refugees equally between nations, rather than displacing it.
Under international refugee law, the primary responsibility for assessing asylum claims and granting international protection rests with the state in which an asylum seeker arrives, either at land borders or at sea, and seeks that protection. This obligation remains unchanged by the transfer of asylum seekers or extraterritorial processing. While legal transfer agreements for asylum cooperation can be made between states, such measures should ensure and improve the protection of refugees.
UNHCR has repeatedly called for action to address the desperate situation in the Mediterranean and to ensure solidarity, especially with the most affected states. UNHCR recognizes the challenges posed by the increase in mixed movements and is ready to work with States on legal measures to respond more effectively to arrivals, based on the sharing of responsibilities and in accordance with international standards, in a spirit of cooperation international, with adequate safeguards and guarantees. to guarantee the respect of rights.
UNHCR is seeking to discuss further details with the Italian and Albanian governments to better understand the implications for refugees and other people in need of international protection.