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Senior Officers Trained on Refugee Laws and Policies

A two day workshop is being hosted by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with participation from law enforcement officers in the Belize Police Department, Belize Coast Guard, Immigration Department and Belize Defence Force.  It is a workshop that is looking at laws and policies guiding the refugee process for Belize.  UNHCR Representative to Belize, Soufiane Adjali spoke to Love News on their role in-country as it relates to refugees and those seeking asylum.


One of the laws that UNHCR is hoping to have the Government revise is the 14-day rule.   Anyone coming into the country seeking refugee status needs to do so within a period of fourteen days; a law which the UNHCR feels is impractical.


Attending today’s workshop was the Director of the Refugee Department, Maria Marin.  According to Marin, the Refugee Department works closely with the non-governmental organization, Help for Progress in Belmopan which has proven very beneficial.


Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Defence, Felix Enriquez attended the opening today and told LoveNews that the information taken from today’s workshop will prove essential for the BDF and the Belize Coast Guard.


With the Refugee Eligibility Committee just reactivated in 2015, the first set of recommendations is at the desk of the Immigration Minister, Beverly Williams for signatures.  There are about seventy recommendations forwarded to Minister Williams.