Warwick academics join calls to UN’s Refugee Summit

Two academics from the University of Warwick signed a statement calling on the United Nations (UN) to defend the rights of people in need of humanitarian protection.

The statement was created and signed by numerous UK academics, including those from the University of Bristol and the University of York.

It focuses on three areas for the UN to prioritise: upholding the right of refugees to seek asylum, the safe and legal passage for refugees and migrants, and an affirmation of their rights without discrimination.

The UN’s Summit for Refugees and Migrants was held on the Monday 19 September, and was the first time the General Assembly had called for a summit at the Heads of State and Government level on large movements of refugees and migrants.

Dr Vicki Squire and Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, of Politics and International Studies (PAIS), were the two Warwick signatories to the statement submitted.

Dr Squire is a Reader in International Security, whilst Professor Vaugn-Williams is a Professor of International Security, as well as the Head of the Department for (PAIS).

Dr Squire told the University of Bristol: ““Vulnerable refugees living in informal, temporary accommodation are frequently targeted by state authorities through evictions and the destructions of temporary shelters.

“They are also subject to racist and xenophobic violence by non-state actors, but lack the protection and legal redress that ordinary citizens enjoy.”

She continued: “This has a disproportional impact on vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied children who are regularly subject to confinement with adults who are not family members, often in mixed sex accommodation.

“Children and women are especially at risk of being trafficked and sexually exploited and there is a lack of coordinated support by both state agencies and NGOs.”

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy, had no comment from the university: “That is really a matter for those academic members of staff.”


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