In memorium of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan’s birthday (Jan 17th).
Second of two videos features an interview of Prince Sadruddin’s statement at the Tehran Conference. The first video (featured yesterday) had excerpts of Prince Sadruddin at the Tehran Conference.
Both videos are very telling with respect to the situation of refugees then and the dire situation now.
Question: Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Sir, what is the relation between the human rights problem and the problem of refugees?
Response: Well they are extremely related. First of all, because refugees are human beings and they have rights which should not be forgotten especially during ” Human Rights Year” which this is, as you know.
Refugees are without protection.
They are not like ordinary aliens who have an embassy or consulate to protect them. They are without protection of their own government and so as a result they turn towards an international organization which is my office, to grant them protection they need.
So therefore, anything that has to do with the rights of refugees is of great importance. The declaration of the rights of asylum, which is closely linked to the human rights, is very important because without rights there is no asylum there is no work for refugees. If one thing is worse than being a refugee, it’s being refugee without asylum.
And then also, all the other conventions, like the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which is the basic refugee charter – which defines the basic standards of treatment to be given to refugees in a country of asylum. The protocol to that convention which makes it applicable everywhere, in time and in space, and all the other instruments like the Convention on the reduction of Statelessness, the Convention of Refugees Seamen, these are all very important instruments which are very closely related to human rights and all the covenants.
– Interview with Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, April 1968
Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali