Special report outlines policies to strengthen response to Syrian refugee crisis

Report released as refugee numbers in Turkey top 120,000

COPENHAGEN, 20 November 2012 – Parliaments and governments should co-ordinate refugee policies and find common ground to address the humanitarian crisis spreading from the violence in Syria, according to recommendations from a new report released today by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

Humanitarian Crisis in Syria: A Special Report on the Impact of Syrian Refugees in Turkey and the OSCE Region is published as OSCE PA President Riccardo Migliori visits Turkey, where he is scheduled to make stops at the Akçakale refugee camp and meet with senior government officials in Ankara. Turkey is now welcoming more than 120,000 Syrian refugees.

"Countries like Turkey who are hosting thousands of refugees deserve more than our thanks, they deserve a concerted international policy response to prevent an uncontrollable deterioration of the situation," said OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Secretary General Spencer Oliver.

"The OSCE was founded with a concern for the interconnectedness of Mediterranean and European security, and the humanitarian crisis today shows the need for action in this region."

The report analyzes the impact of the more than 135,000 Syrian refugees now living in the OSCE area and identifies key areas in which the governments of participating States, and partner States, are affected by the violence in Syria and responding to present challenges. The report lays out recommendations to move the policy discussion forward to address the humanitarian crisis, including:

"This report highlights the often unknown consequences that the conflict in Syria continues to have in the OSCE region," said Oliver. "For thousands of families, Turkey is a temporary solution, but this should not and cannot last indefinitely, as the resources will soon reach their limits, which is why parliaments and governments should use this report to help jumpstart international discussions for new policy options."

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 320 parliamentarians from 55 countries spanning, Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.