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Nov 17, 2015

Refugee Eligibility Committee Reactivated After Eighteen Years

After being dormant for eighteen years, Belize has activated the Refugee Eligibility Committee. The committee of nine persons serves as a refugee assessment group and according to the United Nations Refugee Agency; the number of refugees seeking protection in Belize is increasing. In the face of an escalating refugee crisis in the region, UNHCR officials have been in Belize preparing the Committee since June.  The Committee met on Friday for the first time to begin the process of assessing new requests from persons seeking asylum in Belize primarily from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Shelly Pitterman, Regional Representative, says that the meeting of the Refugee Eligibility Committee is “further proof of Belize’s commitment to ensuring that people forced to flee their countries to escape violence and persecution elsewhere in the Americas find in Belize, the humane reception to which they are entitled.” The reactivation of the Committee coincides with Belize’s accession to the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, which took effect also on Friday. Belize is the second accession by a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state.

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2 Responses for “Refugee Eligibility Committee Reactivated After Eighteen Years”

  1. kmh says:

    So no offer to take any Syrian refugees from GOB? Some haven of democracy…

  2. Drastic theorist says:

    This sounds like a nice gesture; however, my one concern is how are we going to ensure that checks and balances will be properly in place? People start talking about taking in Syrian refugees and now Belize wants to do the same. I have to care for several youths and grown adults. I feel like I am being PERSECUTED too, what country can I go to seek refuge? Additionally, why are these only latin countries? Well, no longer Belize but Belice, to get a job it will now be mandatory to hablar en espanol, belice es para latinos no todos. Tengo hambre! Lo siento. Foods, jobs and housing are now reserved for the refugees. What is ironic about this situation is that many people were slaves in this country but no one sought to really give them anything here we have non-Belicenos who will be able to get all the things that the native Belizeans ought to have gotten. Another win for the Spaniards another loss for the Africans, Creoles and Mayas! More Guatemalans … Now we can sasaybelice es para guatemala. Si! It is amazing to see how some of our people in authority are very lacking in intelligence and strategic planning. Pitterman … That does not even sound like an authentic and true patriotic name that would fight for Belizeans.

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