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Trinidad: Refugees, asylum-seekers beg outside Parliament

A HANDFUL of refugee and asylum seekers protested outside Parliament yesterday, calling on politicians to help them escape abuse and victimisation while they are being processed by the UN’s High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

One of the spokesmen for the group, Venezuelan Alejandra Larez, who had been visiting TT for over two decades before seeking refuge here, called on the Government to honour signed UN treaties.

TT signed the UNHCR’s 1951 Refugee Convention in 2000. The UN in the past has called on the country to continue abiding by its international obligations as a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and other applicable international instruments that are incorporated into its official Refugee Policy, in particular the principle of non-return, known as non-refoulement, and Article 31 of the convention, which requests signatories “not to impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence” to people who are in need of international protection.

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