Europe needs to find a "humane solution" to the migrant crisis

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Paris during joint press conference with France President Francois Hollande. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

European countries need to find a humane solution to the migrant and refugee crisis, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday.

He made the remarks in Paris during a briefing to the press with President François Hollande.

Mr Ban was in the country to receive an honorary doctorate at the Sorbonne-Pantheon University.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Refugees and migrants from Syria, Iraq and other countries who flee to Europe want the same things as us, the UN chief told the press during an official visit to France.

They want to be safe, they want their children to go to school and they want to find jobs in order to contribute to advancing humanity, Mr Ban Ki-moon said.

He urged Europe to find a humane solution to the migrant and refugee problem. A solution that is mindful of human rights and that is in line with international law.

A solution that gives refugees and migrants the compassion they deserve.

During this time of division and rising xenophobia, Mr Ban noted, people in Europe should remain loyal to the ideals of freedom, generosity and compassion as well as respect for human rights.

He also commended the Sorbonne-Pantheon University for taking in 300 refugee students.

Meanwhile, French President François Hollande said he deplored Britain's exit from the European Union but he respected the vote because it is the will of the people.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

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