The Responsibility to Protect Migrants

With the number of international migrants on track nearly to double in the coming decades, a global framework is needed to help those caught in crisis situations, such as now exists in Syria. Most important, emergency assistance should be provided to citizens and migrants alike, without discrimination.

CORK – Migrants face countless perils. Vicious mafias smuggle them across borders with reckless disregard for their lives. Rapacious recruiters fleece them of their earnings. Abusive employers exploit their labor. And, adding insult to injury, anti-immigrant sentiment erodes the political will to confront these challenges.

Yet, when it comes to protecting migrants’ well-being and rights, smart practices abound – and should be promoted more widely and implemented more frequently. With the number of international migrants on track nearly to double in the coming decades, such practices must become reference points for action.

The plight of migrants is particularly tragic when its source is violent conflict, like in Syria and Libya, or natural or manmade disasters. In crises like these, migrants’ lives and physical safety are jeopardized through no fault of their own. Yet the world has no clear guidelines for how to protect them.

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