In 121 countries, refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in high-risk categories have started receiving their first vaccination shot. However, the overall number of refugees and IDPs who are vaccinated is still very low and in many hosting countries vaccine scarcity continues to present a significant barrier for refugees and IDPs, while vaccine hesitancy adds a second layer of complication. UNHCR stands ready to support states to overcome some of these barriers.
30 August marked the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the 1961 UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. Stateless people can fall between the cracks in conflict and displacement situations because they lack the protection of any government, they don’t have proof of their legal identity, or both. They also risk being excluded from accessing COVID-19 vaccinations as countries implement plans to tackle the pandemic.
UNHCR has expressed its concern over U.S. expulsion flights under COVID-19 asylum restrictions to southern Mexico. These expulsion flights of non-Mexicans to the deep interior of Mexico constitute a troubling new dimension in the enforcement of the COVID-related public health order known as Title 42. UNHCR recently issued a global warning against initiatives which shift asylum responsibilities elsewhere or result in denial of the right to seek asylum altogether