Hinds: Government reviewing national policy for refugees

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds - Grevic Alvarado
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds - Grevic Alvarado

MINISTER of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds says while a national policy for refugees and asylum seekers was created in 2014, it was "sufficiently problematic" and needed reviewing. Because of this, he said, it would be "risky" to try giving a possible time line for its implementation.

He was responding to questions in the Senate on Monday afternoon.

Independent Senator Paul Richards asked Hinds to outline the government’s policy on refugees and asylum seekers "and the way forward."

Hinds said a policy was developed in 2014, "but challenges were experienced with its implementation.

"This policy was intended to establish a transparent, fair and efficient national mechanism for refugee status determination in TT that adheres to international obligations."

He added that it was also meant to provide a framework "to address as seekers and refugees and establish procedures for managing the determination process."

He said as the policy transitions from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the government, it was "fraught" with challenges.

The government, he said, has reviewed and will continue to review this position.

"...With the intention of formulating a model that will best suit our circumstances considering contemporary migration trends and best practices."

The implementation of such a policy, he said, will require the support of all stakeholders.

Richards then asked what were the challenges the government faced in having the policy implemented.

Hinds said he "does not have at (his) fingertip, with precision," the particular issues, "But I am aware that it was sufficiently problematic to have required the review that is to be undertaken."


"Hinds: Government reviewing national policy for refugees"

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