- The Permanent Mission
- Greece in the UN-Geneva
Intervention of the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Alexandros Alexandris during the Human Rights Council Informal Briefing by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Migration crises in Europe (Geneva, 27 May 2015)
Thank you Mr President,
We greatly appreciate the opportunity for this type of briefings by the High Commissioner. We believe that the OHCHR and generally the UN Human Rights Mechanisms have a crucial role with respect to migration. Indeed human rights abuses are one of the root causes of migration, while human rights are violated during the long journeys, during the reception process and well beyond that. In addition, it should be kept in mind that human rights violations of migrants is a global phenomenon as the high Commissioner underlined and takes place, unfortunately, in all parts of the world without being confined to a specific region or sea.
Poverty, overpopulation, political and social repression, wars, massacres, the practice of human smuggling are some of the major factors leading to migratory flows. We should not therefore highlight solely the human rights obligations of receiving European States but also assume our collective responsibility to try to address in a holistic manner all facets of this hideous worldwide trend of human smuggling. As was evident by the points made by Ambassador Sorensen, the EU is not shying away from its responsibilities and has tripled its resources in order to save human lives and protect the human rights of migrants. In the same vein Greece, among other concrete measures, has recently established the office of the Deputy Minister for Migration Policies with the specific mandate and objective of achieving protection, integration and social cohesion.
Having in mind the above, I would like to ask the High Commissioner how does he see the role that OHCHR can play through its field presence and its cooperation with the Special Procedures through their country visits, specifically in preventing tragic events we have witnessed recently at sea? In particular, I have in mind the early warning mechanisms on human rights violations and relevant reporting both in the States of origin and the States of transit, in a more systematic and migration oriented manner than is done today.