Refugees Current Affairs - 2019

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US withdraws from UN Global Compact on Migration

The United States has pulled out of UN Global Compact on Migration. It has argued that Obama-era negotiated UN compact process deal contains numerous provisions that inconsistent with country’s immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration’s immigration principles.

Key Facts

US under Trump administration has pulled out of several global commitments including UNESCO, UN cultural and educational body and 2015 Paris climate change agreement. US participation in Global Compact on Migration process was started in 2016 following Obama Administration’s decision to join UN’s New York Declaration on Migration.

US under Trump administration has held that New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and Trump Administration’s immigration principles. Moreover, the global approach in New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.

UN Global Compact on Migration

UN Global Compact on Migration will be the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement under auspices of UN to cover all dimensions of international migration in holistic and comprehensive manner. Its genesis can be found in New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in September 2016 by UN General Assembly.

Under this declaration, signatory UN member countries had decided to develop global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. The process to develop this global compact for migration was started in April 2017. It was to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.

The purpose of Global compact of migration is to provide significant opportunity to improve governance on migration, address challenges associated with today’s migration, and strengthen contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

Need to balance national interest, human rights on Rohingya refugees: SC

The Supreme Court has asked Union Government to strike a balance between humanitarian concern for Rohingya community staying in India and country’s economic and national security interests.

The apex court unlined that both executive and judiciary cannot be totally oblivious to condition of women and children among Rohingya refugees and said that crisis has thrown up an extraordinary situation. With this, the status quo held by Government continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in case of any contingency.

Background

The SC was hearing on petition filed by two Rohingya Muslim refugees for protection of the life and liberty of their community challenging Union Government’s move to deport them from country. Petitioners in their plea had mentioned Government’s move violated tconstitutional guarantee that Indian state should protect the life and liberty of every human being, whether citizen or not. As per petition, Government’s proposed deportation is contrary to Indian constitutional protections guaranteed under Article 14 (equality), Article 21 (right to life) and Article 51(c) (respect for international law and treaty obligations) of the Constitution.

Rohingya Issue

Rohingya is ethnic Muslim minority group, largely comprising Muslims living primarily in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state. They differ from Myanmar’s dominant Buddhist groups religiously, ethnically and linguistically. They practice a Sufi-inflected variation of Sunni Islam. They speak Bengali dialect, as opposed to commonly spoken Burmese language in Myanmar.

Myanmar considers Rohingya’s as illegal Bengali immigrants, despite fact that many they have resided in Rakhine province of Myanmar for centuries. Myanmar government even refuses to grant them citizenship status, and as a result they do not have any legal documentation, effectively making them stateless. They are also restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs. UN has often described Rohingyas as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.