UN warns many refugees will be left in 'legal limbo' in Europe

14th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

Many of the refugees flooding into Europe could be left in "legal limbo" as countries adopt different measures to address the migrant crisis facing the continent, the United Nations warned.

The UN refugee agency cautioned that "the combination of different, individual measures might create a situation where large numbers of refugees seeking in Europe the protection they are entitled to receive in line with international law, will find themselves moving around in legal limbo."

The agency insisted that "recent successive announcements of different border control measures by a number of European countries impacted by the refugee and migration crisis only underlines the urgency of establishing a comprehensive European response."

"This response must be based on the creation of effective reception centres, with the support of all parties concerned including UNHCR, to properly assist, register and screen people upon arrival in Greece, Italy and Hungary," it said in a statement late Sunday.

"People in need of international protection in accordance with international law should be relocated amongst all European Union countries based on a fair distribution mechanism," it added.

European Union interior ministers set to meet later Monday in Brussels over the distribution of 160,000 refugees within the 28-member bloc, but the plan has run into stiff opposition from several Eastern European states.

And Germany, which has by far taken in most of the people on the move, reintroduced border controls late Sunday, saying it has been overwhelmed by the pressure of taking in tens of thousands of asylum seekers.

© 2015 AFP

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