UNHCR and the Ministry of Human Rights signed an agreement last week confirming a number of initiatives to enhance the protection of refugees inYemen.
Under the terms of the agreement the Refugee Department of the Ministry of Human Rights will further expand its training and awareness raising work on the principles and practices of refugee protection inYemen. The target audience for this capacity building work will be the authorities dealing directly with refugees and asylum seekers inYemen– from civil servants to law enforcement and judges to the coast guard.
Secondly, this partnership will support, in close consultation with all relevant stakeholders, work on the creation of a national asylum legislative framework which the Government of Yemen recently called for. The National Committee on Refugee Affairs (NACRA), headed by the Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, will coordinate the drafting process which this partnership between UNHCR and the Ministry of Human Rights will support.
Thirdly the partnership will strengthen the existing mechanisms in the Ministry of Human Rights to receive and act on complaints from refugees and asylum seekers about violations of their rights.
Finally, this project will support the Ministry in undertaking advocacy and awareness campaigns across Yemeni society which will further the refugee cause.
The agreement was signed today by Hooria Mashhour, Minister for Human Rights, and Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative toYemen. Mr Van Der Klaauw said” “This new partnership deepens and expands the cooperation between UNHCR and the Ministry of Human Rights. The Minister and her team should be commended for always taking a lead role in protecting the rights of refugees and their high regard for the principles of international protection.”
“We hope that this partnership will further encourage the putting in place of a comprehensive asylum legislative framework rooted in the 1951 Refugee Convention, whichYemenas the only country in theArabian Peninsulahas acceded to.”
In Yemen UNHCR and its partners provide protection and assistance to nearly 250,000 refugees and over 300,000 Internally Displaced People. The majority of refugees in Yemen, some 235,000 individuals, are from Somalia, whose nationals receive prima facie refugee status when they reach Yemen by the authorities. Internally Displaced People in Yemen can be found both in the northern and southern governorates having fled both short-term and protracted conflicts and crises.