September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Repatriation of Refugees

Country: Cuba
Delegate Name: Lidija Habekovic

Cuba recognizes the trials and tribulations many refugees face not only when seeking
asylum, but also when returning to their home countries. As conflicts heat up, the issue of safe repatriation of refugees is more than glaring. Cuba recognizes that repatriation is not a simple replacement of a refugee, but a process involving individuals and even communities that have changed over their experience of being displaced. Cuba is committed to protecting refugees during the repatriation process, as well as making it as simple as possible.

Cuba does not have a large refugee population. Cuba recognizes that many of its refugee policies are lacking, and that the resettlement fee is higher than many can afford. There is one reception camp in Punta de Maisi, Guantanamo Province which receives Haitian immigrants in small waves. Those who express fear over returning to Haiti are referred to the UNHRC. Cuba currently does not have any administrative policies regarding human trafficking victims, refugees who cannot be repatriated on account of their home country being too dangerous, or identifying refugees in need of international protection.

Cuba is committed to protecting immigrants within its borders. It has ratified the Convention against Torture, and has granted schooling and scholarships to thousands of refugees. Additionally, Cuba has enacted to guarantee free healthcare services to all refugees, regardless of their status (or lack of status) within the country. Cuba observes a non-refoulement policy and offers de facto temporary protection of refugees. However, Cuba recognizes there is progress to be made. Cuba has not yet implemented any procedures regarding the protection of victims of human trafficking, resettling refugees in a country where they might be tortured, and identifying people in need of international protection. However, Cuba is hopeful that it can implement new policies to protect refugees in the near future.

Cuba acknowledges there is much progress to be made. However, by working with delegates from like-minded countries, Cuba believes that a solution can be reached, and refugees will be granted the protection they need. To start, Cuba proposes to make the UNHRC more accessible, through setting up more reception camps or whatever else, to make sure refugees in need of international protection are identified. Additionally, Cuba proposes to implement measures to identify and protect victims of human trafficking, particularly those who will face security risks if returned to their home countries. Finally, Cuba proposes to impose procedures to protect and possibly grant migratory status to refugees who cannot be repatriated on account of their home countries being too dangerous. Cuba is looking forward to working with like-minded delegates and observing progress in the near future.

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