The United Nations refugee agency yesterday welcomed a landmark declaration by 18 South American countries to protect refugees, the displaced and stateless persons in the region, saying the proclamation was a model for other parts of the world to emulate.
The Brasilia Declaration on the protection of refugees and stateless persons in the Americas” was adopted in the Brazilian capital yesterday at the end of a meeting hosted by Brazil’s Justice Ministry on refugee protection, statelessness and mixed migratory movements in the Americas.
“I am encourage governments in other regions to take note of the pioneering leadership that has been shown today by Latin America in making this Declaration. This is a valuable international precedent,” said Mr. Antonio Guterres, who heads the agency known as UNHCR.
The Declaration will help promote the values of solidarity, respect, tolerance and multiculturalism “in a world where racism and xenophobia are on the rise,” he added.
He highlighted important elements of the declaration – respect for the principle of non-refoulement, including non-rejection at borders and non-penalization of illegal entry; support for the incorporation of gender, age and diversity considerations into national laws on refugees and the displaced; and the encouragement of States to adopt mechanisms to address new situations of displacement not foreseen.