Port of Spain 14 November 2018 - A group of refugees and asylum-seekers has protested outside the UN House in Port of Spain for the past week. The group has been in contact with UN personnel, notably with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The concerns of this group have been registered carefully and UNHCR is working to help with their immediate needs and to provide practical information on how best to convey their circumstances to the appropriate authorities in Trinidad and Tobago.
The United Nations as a matter of principle respects the rights of all people to peaceful protest. Similarly, refugees and asylum-seekers are required like all people to abide by the laws of the country that hosts them and to refrain from any action that could put at risk the safety of UN personnel or their ability to perform their duties.
The UN Refugee Agency helps coordinate and support the work of national governments which bear primary responsibility for providing durable and dignified responses to refugees. UNHCR will continue to support the government of Trinidad and Tobago in its efforts to address the needs of refugees in ways that are efficient, humane and achievable. The UN remains concerned for very vulnerable people and will continue to work to ensure their rights and responsibilities are fulfilled in Trinidad and Tobago.