Topic: 2023-Repatriation of Refugees
Delegate Name: Allison Bennett
Williamston High School
The Kingdom of Belgium
Human Rights Council
Repatriation of Refugees
There has been a heavy increase in the amount of international and domestic disputes within recent years. The United Nations established the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, to handle the intensely growing worldwide refugee crisis. The UNHCR deals with most of the current refugee emergencies, however there is an ever-growing issue involving human rights with the increase in domestic disputes. While the UNHCR has taken initiative to support voluntary repatriation, meaning the return of refugees to their home country, on their own free will, once conditions in the home country have become safe, there are still many concerns regarding human rights Refugees all over the world face critical human rights issues that are ongoing, including but not limited to; hunger, homelessness, lack of clean water and medical resources. For these reasons, as well as others, the Human Rights Council, HRC, must help the UNHCR with this cause.
The Kingdom of Belgium has an organization called Myria, an independent public institution that focuses on three mandates: promoting the fight against trafficking and smuggling of human beings, informing the authorities about the nature and extent of migratory flows and protecting the fundamental rights of foreign nationals. Myria is the Belgian independent National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings. Myria works to ensure that the basic rights of foreigners are respected, through field observations and by carefully following the complex legislation that regulates this issue, giving recommendations to public authorities and civil society. Myria ensures that the human rights of detained refugees are respected in situations of deportation and re-entry. The Belgian government has allowed Myria into places where foreign refugees are held, like detention centers and inadmissible centers and given the organization the right to be informed by the Complaints Commision of any complaint made by a detained foreign refugee.
The Kingdom of Belgium has previously cooperated with the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations in providing assistance to asylum seekers, refugees and other people of concern. The Kingdom of Belgium has the Access to Asylum law, which provides the grating of refugee or asylum status, with the government providing protection to refugees, including specific protection that goes beyond the asylum criteria established in the 1951 Convention relating the the Treatment of Refugees and its 1967 protocol. The Kingdom of Belgium accepted refugee resettlement through UNHCR, including persons under the EU Emergency Relocation Mechanism, and conducted a voluntary return program for migrants in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration. The Belgian government also provides temporary “subsidiary” protection to individuals who did not satisfy the legal criteria for refugee status, but who could not return to their country of origin due to the risk of serious harm.
“Handbook for Repatriation and Reintegration Activities (Complete Handbook).” UNHCR, www.unhcr.org/media/handbook-repatriation-and-reintegration-activities-complete-handbook.
“Global Report 2022.” Global Focus, reporting.unhcr.org/global-report-2022.
“Repatriation, Detention and Deportation.” Myria, www.myria.be/en/fundamental-rights/repatriation-detention-and-deportation.
Department of Education, Multicultural Programs. “Roads to Refuge.” Refugee Settlement: Repatriation – Local Integration – Resettlement, www.roads-to-refuge.com.au/settlement/settlement-global-response.html
“Belgium – United States Department of State.” U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State, 20 Mar. 2023, www.state.gov/reports/2022-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/belgium/