Our response to Theresa May’s interventions at the UN summit on refugees and migrants


20 September 2016
Carla Montemayor

Theresa May’s speech at the UN Summit on refugees and migrants in New York raises grave questions regarding the UK’s commitment to addressing the refugee crisis.

Among the most concerning points in her intervention is her bid to rank the vulnerability of refugees according to how far they have managed to escape from their countries of origin. Equally, pitting “economic migrants” against refugees is alarming and potentially increases the risks for migrants. Trying to cut off safe and legal routes for desperate people to reach safety and to resettle is an old approach that is inhumane, unfair and unworkable.

Over 85% of world refugees are in camps in neighboring countries, unable to work or resume normal lives, stuck in limbo for years.

“The UK cannot isolate itself from global realities and approach this humanitarian crisis as an opportunity to further tighten immigration controls,” says Migrants Organise Chief Executive Zrinka Bralo, who is attending the High Level UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants in New York.

“We are here with many other civil society advocates, and more than 40 refugee and migrant speakers, to push the world’s leaders and the international community to work together on urgent and collective measures to enable refugees and migrants to seek safety and to rebuild dignified, productive lives.”

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