GENEVA / US ASYLUM REFORM REAX

16-Jul-2019 00:01:40
“We do not feel a measure such as this new interim rule is the answer” said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) spokesperson in Geneva on Tuesday in response to a new measure announced by the U.S. government and offered to help “to alleviate this strain” on the U.S. asylum system. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / US ASYLUM REFORM REAX
TRT: 1:40
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 16 JULY 2019 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Exterior shot, Palais des Nations.
2. Wide shot, press room
3. Med shot, reporters
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“We believe that this interim rule excessively curtails the right to apply for asylum. We think it jeopardizes the right to protection from refoulement. It significantly raises the burden of proof on asylum seekers, beyond international legal standard. In addition, it also sharply curtailed the basic rights and freedoms of those who had managed to meet the burden of proof. And it is not in line with international obligations.”
5. Cutaway, reporters
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“The countries that the people may have gone through through may have signed the 1951 Convention. But what we have stressed in our statement last night and we are saying is that it is not just the fact that they have signed the 1951 convention. There has to be effective international protection in place for these people and by effective basically a proper system where people’s asylum claims can be judged in a fair and effective manner.”
7. Cutaway, reporters
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Elizabeth Throssell, spokesperson, UN High Commissioner for Refugees:
“We acknowledge that the US asylum system is under significant strain. And we are ready, have been ready to play a really constructive role in helping to alleviate this strain. But we do not feel a measure such as this new interim rule is the answer.”
9. Close up, hands typing
10. Med shot, podium
STORYLINE
Replying to journalists’ questions, Elizabeth Throssell, the UNHCR spokesperson, said that UNHCR had expressed its concerns about the new asylum restrictions put in place by the United States administration.

While UNHCR understood that the US asylum system was under strain and remained “ready to help alleviate the strain,” the agency believed that this measure put vulnerable people and families at risk. It was also undermining efforts across the region to devise a coherent and collective response to deal with the movement of people coming from the north of Central America towards the US.

Throssell added that the interim rule “excessively curtails the right to apply for asylum. We think it jeopardizes the right to protection from refoulement. It significantly raises the burden of proof on asylum seekers, beyond international legal standard. In addition, it also sharply curtailed the basic rights and freedoms of those who had managed to meet the burden of proof. And it is not in line with international obligations.”

UNHCR had issued a call to all governments in the region to get together urgently to develop and implement a coordinated regional response to the growing numbers of people leaving Central America. A consistent approach was needed and the reception conditions in various countries had to be improved. UNHCR was working with the Guatemalan and Mexican authorities, inter alia, to that end.

Under the new rule, the people showing up at the U.S. southern border were required to have applied for asylum in a third country.

The UNHCR spokesperson said, “The countries that the people may have gone through through may have signed the 1951 Convention. But what we have stressed in our statement last night and we are saying is that it is not just the fact that they have signed the 1951 convention. There has to be effective international protection in place for these people and by effective basically a proper system where people’s asylum claims can be judged in a fair and effective manner.”

Throssel repeated that UNHCR “acknowledge that the US asylum system is under significant strain. And we are ready, have been ready to play a really constructive role in helping to alleviate this strain. But we do not feel a measure such as this new interim rule is the answer.”
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