Refugees and violenceExplosive violence and victim rights

The Refugee Explosion – Recommendations

This article is part of AOAV’s report, The Refugee Explosion. The whole report can be found here. Whilst the report introduction and methodology can be seen here. The key findings can be viewed here. The report overview of explosive violence and refugees can be read here, as well as on refugee destinations, here, asylum law in Europe, here, and political and economic developments, here.  AOAV’s country findings for Germany, the UK, and Greece can be found here, here, and here, respectively. For the report’s overall findings please click here. To read some of the interviews from refugees AOAV spoke to please see here. A video illustrating the key findings can be found here.

  • AOAV calls on States and other actors to politically commit to stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.
  • States and users of explosive weapons should work towards the full realisation of the rights of victims, including those killed and injured, their families, and affected communities. They should strive to ensure the timely and adequate provision of needed services for the recovery, rehabilitation, and inclusion of victims of explosive violence, without discrimination.
  • States and international organisations should seek to update the standardised definition of a refugee in a way that recognises the progress through international law guidelines and complementary law.
  • More research is needed to better understand the long-term harm from the use of explosive violence; including the psychological impacts, the harm to infrastructure and services, public health, economic livelihoods, and environmental contamination that such violence brings. Efforts should be made to reduce the stigma amongst some refugee communities on psychological support. Such efforts should be constructed in dialogue with the impacted communities and victims therein.
  • States should increase the scope of psychological support so it routinely covers those who have experienced a high level of explosive violence. Greater efforts should be made to recognise and address the psychological distress that such violence can cause.
  • More should be done to distribute evenly the EU responsibility for refugees so as to reduce the burden on first-arrival countries, including greater financial provisions to these countries and a further relaxing of the Dublin rule.
  • Greater attention should be paid to the incitement of hatred against refugees. Governments must not be party to such sentiments and must properly penalise those who incite hatred or commit hate crimes.

Gemma Gillie/MSF