A new report by the world’s largest humanitarian network is calling on governments to remove the barriers that prevent vulnerable migrants from accessing basic services and humanitarian aid.
Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said: “All people, regardless of immigration status, should have access to basic services and humanitarian assistance. There is no need to mistreat people to have proper border control. Preventing access to adequate food, basic health care, and legal advice about their rights is completely unacceptable. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”
IFRC’s report, “New Walled Order: How barriers to basic services turn migration into a humanitarian crisis” identifies a number of factors that prevent vulnerable migrants from accessing the support they need. The IFRC is calling on states to:
- Ensure that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and other humanitarian agencies can provide humanitarian services to migrants irrespective of status and without fear of arrest. Such services might include legal information and advice, information on rights, first aid, basic health care and shelter, and psychosocial support.
- Create “firewalls” between public services and immigration enforcement. This involves abolishing rules that require health care providers and aid agencies to report on the people they assist to enforcement authorities.
- Proactively identify and address factors that prevent migrants from accessing essential health services.
- Ensure that domestic laws, policies, procedures and practices comply with existing obligations under international law, and address the protection and assistance needs of migrants.
[International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies]