Peter van Krieken: "Refugees are refugees"
By Justice Hub
Peter van Krieken earned a Ph.D. in international law from Groningen University in 1976. He lectures on international law, human rights, as well as refugee and migration issues at Webster and The Hague University. Van Krieken worked for the UNHCR for more than 16 years, serving in such varied countries as Pakistan, South Sudan and Lebanon.
According to Dr. van Krieken, “governments need to set up a proper system to handle refugees and stateless people. As a lawyer, I am able to keep anyone in the country for at least 7 years. There are a huge number of procedures, state laws, refugee laws and trafficking laws. But it is not possible to win every battle.
“There is no single European state that is competent to deal with this issue. The reason is that countries do not apply the proper mechanisms on the national level even though they’ve agreed them at the international level. This is a failure of the rule of law.
“We need to set up a proper system. Refugees are refugees. They deserve to be safe from persecution and distress. But we need to know who is coming and who will be coming in the next decade.”
Photo: João Pires/Justice Hub