UN: States Increasingly Using Refugees for Political Purposes
For years, people fleeing from war and oppression have sought asylum in nearby countries.
Now, the United Nations is warning that countries are increasingly using refugees as tools to support their local and national interests.
Filippo Grandi is the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He says many refugees are being used as pawns as traditional guarantees of asylum appear to be breaking down.
Grandi spoke at the refugee agency's annual conference this week in Geneva, Switzerland.
The UNHCR reports a record 65.6 million people had been forcibly displaced by war and persecution worldwide by the end of 2016. This includes 22.5 million refugees who had crossed from one country to another. The UNHCR reports that, in 2017 alone, more than two million people have fled their countries as refugees.
Grandi told the delegates that in just five weeks, 500-thousand Rohingya fled from violence in Myanmar. During the same period, he noted, more than 50,000 people fled South Sudan, while 18,000 others were escaping clashes in the Central African Republic.
Grandi said that in some ways refugees have always been used for political purposes. But he said the problem has worsened in recent years. He said refugees have become a major issue in local and national politics and even in relationships between governments.
"Protection is constantly being tested. And, at times, it even seems that refugees have become a commodity, traded between states. Principled leadership has frequently given way to an erosion of refugee rights, driven by confused and sometimes frightened public opinions often stirred up by irresponsible politicians."
Grandi told the conference that immigration and asylum policies have become more restrictive in some countries. He said some countries that welcomed refugees in the past also have their own histories of exile and migration.
He added that refugee protection is weakening in many areas, including in industrialized countries. He says protection of refugees is breaking down in traditional countries of asylum in Europe, the United States and Australia.
I'm Alice Bryant.
1.seek asylum 寻求庇护
He sought asylum in the church.
2.stirred up 挑起；激起
I thought my article was harmless, but I have stirred up a hornet's nest.
3.breaking down 崩溃；破裂
He's scared stiff of the relationship breaking down.
4.political purposes 政治目的
We deprecate this use of company funds for political purposes.
1.Grandi said that in some ways refugees have always been used for political purposes.
in some ways 在某些方面
In some ways we wish we could turn the clock back.
In some ways, the official opening is a formality.
2.The UNHCR reports a record 65.6 million people had been forcibly displaced by war and persecution worldwide by the end of 2016.
by the end of 到...结束；到...末尾
By the end of the holiday I had spent all my money.
By the end of that first year, I knew how totally unsuited we were to each other.
菲利波·格兰迪（Filippo Grandi）是联合国难民事务高级专员（UNHCR） 。他指出，传统的庇护保证似乎瓦解，很多难民被当作棋子 。
难民专员办事处报告指出，到2016年底，全球有6560万人因战争和迫害被迫流离失所 。其中有2250万人从一个国家逃亡到另一个国家 。难民专员办事处报告称，仅在2017年就有200多万难民逃离自己的祖国 。
格兰迪对代表团说，短短五周内，约50万罗兴亚族人因缅甸的暴力事件逃亡 。在同一时期，有5万多人逃离南苏丹，另有18000人因冲突逃离中非共和国 。
格兰迪说，从某种程度来说，难民一直被用于政治目的 。不过，近年来这个问题一直在恶化 。他说，难民已经成为地方和国家政治、甚至政府关系中的一个重大问题 。
“难民保护一直在经受考验 。有时候，难民似乎成为了国家间交易的商品 。因一些不负责任的政治家搅局以及受某些舆论恐慌的影响，有原则性的领导经常会对侵害难民权利的势力妥协 。”
格兰迪在会议上表示，有些国家的移民、庇护政策逐渐收紧 。他说，一些曾经欢迎难民入境的国家也有流亡和迁徙的历史 。
他还指出，许多地区的难民保护正在减弱，其中包括工业化国家 。他说，在欧洲、美国和澳大利等传统的难民庇护国，难民的保护机制正在逐渐瓦解 。