Migrants in a "catch 22" when both entering and leaving are criminalized

Syrian asylum-seekers waiting to be registered with border police at Elhovo, near Bulgaria's border with Turkey, 2013. File Photo: UNHCR/D.Kashavelov

In Bulgaria, refugees and migrants fleeing conflict and persecution all too often find themselves treated as criminals.

That's according to the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, who said on Thursday that "xenophobia, Islamophobia and racism are among the most worrying threats" in Europe today.

Zeid said that more effective national leadership was needed to provide "top-down" protection for people on the run, as opposed to criminalizing them.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, explained to Mamadou Alpha Diallo why the climate in Bulgaria, and Europe in general, was so challenging for refugees and migrants.

Duration: 3'29"

Filed under Today's Features.
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