Protecting migrants requires action

09 December 2015
Protecting migrants requires action

Governments as well as aid and humanitarian organizations need to do more to protect and promote the dignity and safety of all migrants, and to ensure their access to essential services.

This was the message delivered today by leaders of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement during a high-level event on migration at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

"All people, regardless of status, have a right to live with safety and dignity," said Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. "We need to do more – governments and the humanitarian community together – to meet these needs."

The Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Yves Daccord, stressed the importance of a coordinated effort in response to the current migration crisis. "Understanding the diversity and complexity of the human and political realities behind migration is fundamental to the development of humane, effective and sustainable responses. Such responses should be driven above all by humanity."

In their joint call, the two leaders recalled the commitments made by States at the last International Conference in 2011. Four years ago, States joined the Movement in adopting a resolution on migration that included commitments to provide migrants with access to basic services, promote non-violence and social inclusion, and ensure that National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are able to work with all migrants, regardless of their legal status.

"The Red Cross and Red Crescent is present in all countries along migration routes. We are able to support people at all points of their journeys. We call again on our government partners to help facilitate this role, and to strive to put the needs and rights of vulnerable people on the move at the centre," said Mr Sy.

"Legitimate security concerns must not become the primary factor in States' migration policies, at the cost of humanitarian considerations and respect for the rights of all migrants. In other words, security imperatives must not supersede humanitarian imperatives," added Mr Daccord.

Earlier this year, the International Federation launched a global campaign, calling on individuals, communities, decision makers, social commentators and leaders at all levels to do all they can to support vulnerable migrants.

The campaign – 'Protect humanity - Stop indifference' – seeks to foster solidarity and empathy for vulnerable people in their countries of origin, and at points of transit and destination, and calls for their protection.

For further information or to arrange an interview during the meetings please contact:

International Federation
Benoit Matsha-Carpentier, team leader, public communications and outreach
Tel: +41 792 132 413 | Email:

Reeni Amin Chua, senior communications officer
Tel: +41 797 086 273 | Email:


Jenny Tobias, public relations officer
Tel: +41 79 536 92 48 | Email:

Élodie Schindler, public relations officer
Tel: +41 79 217 32 51 | Email:


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