Opening Plenary - UNHCR: 7th High Commissioner's Dialogue on Protection Challenges
oo many people are losing their lives when they embark on perilous sea journeys in desperate bids to escape from persecution, conflict, instability and poverty. Many of those who feel compelled to take to the sea, despite the risks involved, are persons of UNHCR's concern - refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless people and others.
The Dialogue will inform the implementation of a two-year Global Initiative on Protection at Sea, which aims to support State action to limit loss of life at sea as well as exploitation, abuse and violence. The Global Initiative also seeks to ensure that responses to irregular 'mixed migration' by sea are sensitive to the international protection needs of specific individuals and groups.
The Dialogue will bring together State, NGO, and IGO participants, as well as academics and individual experts. In a mix of plenary and breakout discussions, it will foster a focused exchange of views on issues such as rescue and disembarkation, addressing the drivers of irregular movements by sea, as well as international cooperation to share burdens and responsibilities, particularly at regional level. The Dialogue will therefore have a strong operational focus.