In paragraph 4, replace the words “should apply for refugee status in the first safe country of arrival” with the following words:
“may be expected to apply for refugee status in the first safe country of arrival, provided that country can guarantee effective protection in accordance with international standards,”
In paragraph 6, replace the words “Referring to the Guidelines on human rights protection in the context of accelerated asylum procedures adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 1 July 2009, the Assembly recalls that” with the following words:
“The Assembly recalls that under international law, including relevant provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, and customary international law,”
In paragraph 9, after the words “refugee status determination”, insert the words “and prompt access to effective protection”.
In paragraph 14, delete the words “and the International Organization for Migration (IOM)”.
The rejection of an asylum application and removal of the applicant to a third country on procedural grounds is inherently risky. Although the current text uses the adjective “safe”, it would be strengthened by clarifying what that means, with a greater emphasis on the essential conditions and safeguards.
It would be more accurate to state that this requirement is based on specific, binding provisions of international treaty and customary law, rather than on the Committee of Ministers’ Guidelines, which are a non-binding instrument.
Provision for legal determination of refugee status alone is not enough to establish any sort of expectation that refugees could or should seek asylum in countries closer to home. Status determination must be accompanied by prompt access to effective protection for those who are found to be entitled to it.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) does not play a role in either registration or status determination of refugees; its sphere of activity is different. Also, since 2016, the IOM has been part of the United Nations organisation; it should not be encouraged to duplicate work already done by another United Nations organ (i.e. the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which was created for this purpose).