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PROGRAMME OF ACTION OF THE UN ICPD

Actions


10.23. Governments are urged to address the root causes of movements of refugees and displaced persons by taking appropriate measures, particularly with respect to conflict resolution; the promotion of peace and reconciliation; respect for human rights, including those of persons belonging to minorities; respect for independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of States. Moreover, factors that contribute to forced displacements need to be addressed through initiatives related to the alleviation of poverty, democratization, good governance and the prevention of environmental degradation. Governments and all other entities should respect and safeguard the right of people to remain in safety in their homes and should refrain from policies or practices that force people to flee.

10.24. Governments are urged to strengthen their support for international protection and assistance activities on behalf of refugees and, as appropriate, displaced persons and to promote the search for durable solutions to their plight. In doing so, Governments are encouraged to enhance regional and international mechanisms that promote appropriate shared responsibility for the protection and assistance needs of refugees. All necessary measures should be taken to ensure the physical protection of refugees - in particular, that of refugee women and refugee children - especially against exploitation, abuse and all forms of violence.

10.25. Adequate international support should be extended to countries of asylum to meet the basic needs of refugees and to assist in the search for durable solutions. Refugee populations should be assisted in achieving self- sufficiency. Refugees, particularly refugee women, should be involved in the planning of refugee assistance activities and in their implementation. In planning and implementing refugee assistance activities, special attention should be given to the specific needs of refugee women and refugee children. Refugees should be provided with access to adequate accommodation, education, health services, including family planning, and other necessary social services. Refugees are invited to respect the laws and regulations of their countries of asylum.

10.26. Governments should create conditions that would allow for the voluntary repatriation of refugees in safety and dignity. Rehabilitation assistance to repatriating refugees should, where possible, be linked to long- term reconstruction and development plans. The international community should provide assistance for refugee repatriation and rehabilitation programmes and for the removal of land mines and other unexploded devices that constitute a serious threat to the safety of returnees and the local population.

10.27. Governments are urged to abide by international law concerning refugees. States that have not already done so are invited to consider acceding to the international instruments concerning refugees - in particular, the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. Governments are furthermore urged to respect the principle of non- refoulement (i.e., the principle of no forcible return of persons to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion). Governments should ensure that asylum-seekers in the Government's territory have access to a fair hearing and should facilitate the expeditious processing of asylum requests, ensuring that guidelines and procedures for the determination of refugee status are sensitive to the particular situation of women.

10.28. In cases of sudden and massive arrivals of refugees and displaced persons in need of international protection, Governments of receiving countries should consider according to them at least temporary protection and treatment in accordance with internationally recognized standards and with national law, practices and regulations, until a solution to their plight can be found. Persons in need of protection should be encouraged to stay in safe areas and, to the extent possible and as appropriate, near their countries of origin. Governments should strengthen protection mechanisms and provide aid to assist the population in such areas. The principles of collective cooperation and international solidarity should be followed in assisting host countries, upon their request.

10.29. The problems of refugees and displaced persons arising from forced migration, including their right to repatriation, should be settled in accordance with the relevant principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other international instruments and relevant United Nations resolutions.

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