Home Civil Society Voices Leave behind prejudice and fear to change narrative on migration

Leave behind prejudice and fear to change narrative on migration

Sometimes 20, Sometimes 30 - It’s normal for refugees to live in small flats with up to 30 people, who may all be replaced the next week. For survival, they live wherever job opportunities take them - Photograph: UNHCR

Join us on Telegram and Instagram for the latest.

The UN Human Rights Office for South East Asia is calling for a human rights-based approach to refugee movements in Asia that emphasises shared values over differences which fuel fear and prejudice of migrants.

Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, the UN Human Rights Office regional representative, Cynthia Veliko, calls for strong protection of the rights of all refugees and other people on the move.

“International human rights law is clear: all refugees and other migrants are entitled to all human rights, without discrimination of any kind. Yet, they are disproportionately vulnerable to discrimination, marginalisation, exploitation, violence and xenophobia, often with limited access to due process and remedies.

“While the journeys to seek refuge are becoming longer, more fragmented, fluid and dangerous, messages of xenophobia have increasingly permeated the public discourse of political movements and the media in many countries in this region, resulting in a climate of violence and exclusion.

“Public narratives on migration and asylum often reflect the fact that foreigners are easy scapegoats for deep-seated fears about terrorism, crime and unemployment. Such negative attitudes towards people on the move can result in significant barriers to their social inclusion, particularly when they are in irregular situations.

“The UN Human Rights Office for South East Asia believes that in order to change the negative narrative surrounding immigration in the region, it is imperative to bring to the forefront our shared values as human beings.

“Instead of a narrative founded on prejudice and fear, one based on our common principles of human rights, diversity, solidarity and humanity is urgently required to foster empathy and empower refugees, other migrants and the communities into which they arrive.

READ MORE:  Leaving 2021 with a dearth of humanity

“On World Refugee Day, we call for robust protection of the rights of all refugees and other people on the move in the Asia Pacific region.”

The regional office for South-East Asia in Bangkok represents the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights within South East Asia.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x