There is a need for reforms in the Geneva Conventions to facilitate refugees and impose sanctions on countries who do not open their doors to them, head of a Turkish parliamentary commission has said.
Atay Uslu, a lawmaker from ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party who chairs a commission of refugee rights in the Turkish parliament, said in Ankara Monday there were several gaps in the current state of the conventions.
“Let’s renew the conventions or rewrite a new charter.
“Integration policies and principles [for refugees] should be made clearer and assimilation must be banned. There is no provision on this in the Geneva Conventions,” Uslu said.
He also called for sanctions on countries who were not doing their bit to host the refugees.
“There should be more serious provisions on states to open their doors to refugees. At the moment, there is no provision to impose any sanction on those [countries] who do not allow refugees,” he added.
He also pointed out there was no concept of sharing the burden of refugees in the 66-year-old agreement.
“European Union worked out on a regulation called the Dublin regulation, which called for burden sharing and re-replacement issues. But EU states failed to comply with it,” he said.
Dublin regulation holds an EU member state accountable to examine an application for asylum seekers seeking international protection under the Geneva Conventions and the EU Qualification Directive, within the European Union.
According to the International Committee of Red Cross website, the main objective of the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols is to “form the core of international humanitarian law, which regulates the conduct of armed conflict and seeks to limit its effects. They protect people not taking part in hostilities and those who are no longer doing so.”
Turkey hosts about three million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent around $25 billion on helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of Syrian civil war in early 2011.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.