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HomeWorldArbitrary Expulsions Of Migrants In Chile Must Stop Immediately, Urge Rights Experts

Arbitrary Expulsions Of Migrants In Chile Must Stop Immediately, Urge Rights Experts


Migrants must be allowed to stay in Chile while
their cases are being individually assessed or risk
“irreparable harm”, a group of UN-appointed independent
human rights experts said in a statement on
Wednesday.

In line with international human
rights norms and standards, the experts called on the
Government of Chile to immediately stop collectively
expelling migrants.

“Deportations of migrants cannot
be carried out in a summary manner but require a
case-by-case determination of their international protection
needs, taking into account humanitarian considerations of
their family roots, social ties and other relevant
circumstances”, said
the Special
Rapporteur
on the human rights of migrants, Felipe
González Morales
.

Rights denied

Since
February, hundreds have been expelled from Chile without an
individual evaluation, or the possibility of applying for
protection, in line with international human rights and
refugee law.

According to the experts, the last
incident took place on 25 April, when 55 Venezuelan migrants
were collectively expelled from Iquique Diego Aracena
Airport, in the country’s north.

And prior to their
removal, some of the migrants were reportedly detained
incommunicado and with no access to legal
assistance.

“The absence of an individual assessment
of protection needs and risk of irreparable harm of each
migrant prior to their deportation increases the risk of
further human rights violations, including a violation of
the principle of non-refoulement”, Mr. González Morales
said, referring to the fact that they may face persecution
in their country of origin.

Follow due
process

The human rights experts underscored that
immigration detention can be used only as “a measure of
last resort…for the shortest appropriate period of time
and must be consistent with the principles of necessity and
proportionality”, based on the individual circumstances of
each case.

This is enshrined in the Convention
against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
as well as other international
human rights treaties. And it applies to all forms of
expulsion, regardless nationality or migration
status.

“It is also essential to comply with due
process guarantees and to ensure that migrants have
effective access to justice to make their claims against a
deportation order, and that concerned migrants should be
allowed to remain in the country while the merits of these
claims are being resolved”, stressed the Special
Rapporteur.

COVID request

In the context of
the COVID-19 pandemic,
Mr. González Morales and the UN
Committee on Migrant Workers
had previously called on
States to consider a temporary suspension of deportations or
forced returns of migrants, fearing that without proper
health and safety precautions, they may be exposed to
dangerous conditions.

Special Rapporteurs and
independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human
Rights Council
to examine and report back on a specific
human rights theme or a country situation. Their positions
are honorary and they are not paid for their
work.

Click here
for the names of all the UN independent experts who
supported this
statement.

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