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UNHCR considers alarming the lack of protection for migrants

United Nations, Jun 5 (Prensa Latina) The lack of protection services on the main routes used by refugees and migrants is alarming, and the situation has worsened in recent years, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned.

According to a recent UNHCR report, essential services such as immediate humanitarian assistance or redirecting mechanisms and access to justice are often unavailable in movement centers. Areas, like the Sahara Desert, lack these essential forms of protection to address the people’s movement.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants risk their lives traveling along routes that extend from the east and the Horn of Africa, in West Africa, to the northern Atlantic coast and the central Mediterranean towards Europe, the report says.

In addition to Africans, there are also displaced people from Asia and the Middle East arriving in North Africa from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt and Syria. Many of them die crossing the desert or near borders, and most suffer serious human rights violations, which can include sexual and gender-based violence, kidnappings, torture, physical abuse, arbitrary detention, human trafficking, and massive expulsions.

In response, the agency called for support for humanitarian interventions and efforts to increase availability and response capacity in key locations. This step should represent better access to legal pathways to safety and improved protection services for victims and those at risk of becoming victims along the routes.

The agency also called for improving community participation and communication mechanisms at the country level and among diaspora communities to disseminate information about the dangers of traveling, deny false information disseminated by smugglers and human traffickers, and help transmit information about the availability of safe and legal alternative routes.