UN Urges De-escalation in Belarus-Poland Border Migrant Crisis

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Wednesday responded to the migrant crisis at the Belarusian-Polish border, urging de-escalation to resolve intolerable situations at shared frontier where hundreds of people are at risk of freezing.      

“I urge the states involved to take immediate steps to de-escalate and resolve this intolerable situation in line with their obligations under international human rights law and refugee law,” said Michelle Bachelet.

“I am appalled that large numbers of migrants and refugees continue to be at the Belarus-Poland border,” she added.

Bachelet said increased deployment of troops by both sides, and accompanying inflammatory rhetoric, has doubled the risks for those at the border.

According to Bachelet, several people had lost their lives in the past few months in the border area.   

“These hundreds of men, women and children must not be forced to spend another night in freezing weather without adequate shelter, food, water, and medical care,” she urged.

Tensions between Poland and Belarus escalated after thousands of migrants headed to the Polish border and attempted to breach the barriers, according to the UN.

“Under international law, no person should be prevented from seeking asylum,” she said, adding that all forms of international human rights protection must be given to these people strained in the border.


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