World Bulletin/News Desk
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Friday reiterated its call for access to international protection for Syrian refugees.
Melissa Fleming, Spokesperson for the UNHCR, stated that the violence was worsening inside Syria and UNHCR expected growing numbers of people would continue to seek safety and assistance across international borders, at the press briefing held in Palais des Nations, Geneva.
"UNHCR commends the neighboring governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq for hosting over 1.5 million Syrian refugees so far and recognizes the heavy burden the refugee influx is placing on their societies," Fleming said.
UNHCR also expressed their concern about reports that many Syrians trying to flee may be backed up at the borders in areas that are extremely dangerous despite governments assure that borders would remain open.
"We are also disturbed by accounts indicating there may be restrictions imposed on those wishing to leave Syria. We call on all parties to protect civilians and allow safe passage for those wishing to flee," she noted.
UNHCR also emphasized it was essential that civilians fleeing violence had access to safety under all circumstances also in accordance to international law.
"At the same time, it is critical that the international community provides urgent and robust support to refugee hosting countries and humanitarian operations to enable them to continue to receive and address the growing needs of Syrian refugees. These countries should not be left to shoulder the burden alone.
We therefore also encourage all countries, not just those bordering Syria, to keep their borders open to offer protection to Syrian refugees," Fleming added.Last Mod: 24 Mayıs 2013, 15:44