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Asylum

The tricks of safe passage requests

Applying for a refugee status one must be prepared to spend a lot of time and effort to succeed. Moreover, they should bear in mind that the possession of the Travel Documents from United Nations as well as the approval for the safe passage in the country being visited do not mean that the passage itself will be safe. There is no guarantee that it will not lead to an arrest. The existence of the Red Notice on the Interpol`s database or a direct extradition request to the target country may be those factors which can still endanger the travelling refugee.

The Refugee Convention was signed by 145 countries, however if an individual receives refugee status in one country, the other countries-signatories are not obliged to recognize them automatically. In order to diminish the risks connected to travelling to another country, a holder of refugee status and his lawyers can request a safe passage directly from the target country and some states will provide the approval that they will not act upon the Red Notice or an extradition request. Though it all depends on the target country and the situation of a particular refugee.

Let’s take a look at some of the EU countries. Germany presents one of the most troubling situations: even if a refugee has been officially recognized by the German authorities, they can remain subject to extradition to their country of origin. The number of cases when refugees were extradited back to their countries is still worryingly high.

In Spain and Greece, the situation is not much better. If the country receives an extradition request it may lead to a lengthy detention of a refugee abroad. Particularly in Greece, there are no procedures that would specifically deal with safe passage requests, which does not make the country one of the best for seeking refuge.

So, what is the best way to ensure safety of a refugee while traveling abroad? One of the necessary steps after the refugee status had been granted is to make a request for safe passage to the country which a refugee wants to visit. It will raise the chance that the refugee will not be arrested at least in the country being visited, though every state gives different opinions and reactions to such requests.

The best way to arrive to the country of destination is to double-check all the procedures and to minimize travelling, avoiding transfers in different states. Another important factor is to have legal support from highly-qualified lawyers who will do their best to ensure the safety of their client.

International Secretariat

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