Monitoring the border
Mixed flows of humanity
Refugees fleeing from conflicts or persecution are in a vulnerable situation. If other countries do not allow them to enter their territory or send them back to where they could be persecuted, they may be condemning them to an intolerable life without rights, to torture, or even to death.
While it is a legitimate right of each government to secure their territory and prevent irregular immigration, it is also vital that even the strictest border management does not prevent anyone accessing their territory when seeking asylum. According to international law, states are obliged to provide protection to those in need and are prohibited to return a person to a place where his or her life or freedom could be threatened. This is a core principle of refugee protection, the principle of non-refoulement.
In order to ensure that every person seeking asylum in Central Europe has access to both safe territory and fair and efficient asylum procedures, UNHCR has established border management projects across the region. Learn about these projects in detail at the link below.
Today’s migration movements are ever more complex and involve not only refugees but also millions of migrants. Migrants, mostly economic migrants, are also seeking a better way of life and smugglers have built a multi-billion dollar business by preying on their desperation and desires worldwide. The eastern land border of the EU is no exception.
Refugees and migrants are fundamentally different: migrants choose to move in order to find a better life for themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom. Therefore UNHCR wants to ensure that every refugee who travels in a mixed group of migrants and asylum-seekers has access to the territory of another country and is not returned at the border as an irregular migrant, in many cases to death or danger.
Learn how UNHCR deals with the issue of mixed migration and asylum at the link below.