Msowoya calls for review of policies affecting refugees

Richard Msowoya

Malawi’s Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya has called upon the global community to review policies affecting refugees and immigrants.

Msowoya made the call in Geneva, Switzerland where he was attending 138th General Assembly of the International Parliamentary Union (I.P.U) on the agenda item 3 which was titled “Strengthening the Global Regime for migrants and refugees: the need for evidence based policy solutions.”

Richard Msowoya
Msowoya speaking in Geneva.

Speaking during the second day of the meeting, Msowoya noted that there are some policies globally affecting refugees and migrants that are supposed to be reviewed for a common goal of making the world a better place for everyone.

According to Msowoya, the International Migration Report for 2017 indicates that there are about 258 million people living in a country other than their country of birth in the world today and this is an increase of 49% within 15 years since 2000.

“This is a gloomy picture which requires urgent action to forestall and prevent the challenges that lie ahead. However, it is our view that in order to find lasting solutions to those challenges, there is need to seriously review the global regime for migrants and refugees,” Msowoya said.

He added that currently there are different principles, norms and rules that guide or are followed by different nations and international organisations in dealing with challenges associated with refugees and migrants.

“Consequently, we have witnessed the treatment of migrants and refugees differently in various states. Yet the majority, if not all such nations are members of the United Nations.

“However, in order to ensure there is a common and in some cases a humane approach to the challenges, we should join hands, as parliamentarians, in calling for a systematic review of all policies affecting migrants and refugees,” Msowoya said.

According to Malawi National Assembly Speaker, such review ought to be influenced and informed by evidence based approaches and only then the world will be able to come up with realistic solutions to the challenges of refugees and migrants.

Msowoya said that refugees leave their homes for safety concerns and they need to be considered as how any human being can be perceived.

“Refugees in most cases are forced to leave their homes or countries largely because of safety concerns. These are fellow human beings who are at risk of prosecution or even getting killed if they are to remain in their homes and the only option they have is to flee their homes, leaving loved ones and a way of life at short notice and having no idea as to where they will end up to,” he said.

IPU is the annual event that brings together parliamentarians from all over the world to discuss various issues.

The country was represented at the meeting by Msowoya and one legislator each from Malawi Congress Party, People’s Party, Democratic Progressive Party and United Democratic Front.