Al-Othaimeen stresses need for refugees to have access to secure transit routes

Jeddah, - Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen has called for global comprehensive humanitarian actions that will ensure refugees have access to secure transit routes, safe spaces, and protection when they arrive in a host country, and resources and services that will help them to build a post-conflict life, free from violence and poverty.

Dr. Al-Othaimeen made the call in his message to the 14th Regular Session of the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) and thematic debate on the topic of Promoting and protecting the rights of refugees and migrants; An Islamic and international human rights obligation, held on Tuesday at the Commission's headquarters in Jeddah. Amb Samir Bakr, Assistant Secretary General for Palestinian Affairs delivered the message on his behalf.

The cruelest manifestation of migration is in response to forced occupation of lands as is done by the Israeli security forces against the Palestinians or during the times of wars and conflicts like Syria and the persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar where people are forced to flee in desperation to save their lives, honor, and dignity, said Al-Othaimeen.

As large portions of refugees comprise of women, it is imperative to formulate evidence-based policies to address the specific vulnerabilities of women and girls and to empower them by assigning roles in post-conflict reconstruction for lasting peace and stability, he added.

Dr. Al-Othaimeen stressed that, though the OIC countries shoulder a disproportionate share of the global responsibility for protecting displaced people worldwide, the spirit of solidarity, based on Islamic values, has always driven OIC action in fulfilling their responsibilities towards refugees and migrants within their respective national capabilities and domestic laws. He added that nearly two-thirds of all forced migrants originate from OIC member states, and they also host over half of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide.

Experts from different relevant international and regional organizations, as well as representatives of OIC Member and Observer States including their National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), attended and addressed the thematic debate in addition to key remarks from the IPHRC Chairperson, Dr. Rashid Al-Balushi.

Source: International Islamic News Agency