UN agencies dealing with migration issues have called on Belarus and Poland to guarantee security and respect for human rights for migrants and refugees. This is stated in the joint statement of the Refugee Agency, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration.
"IOM and UNHCR have been in contact with both governments and are calling for an urgent resolution of the situation and immediate and unhindered access to the group to ensure that humanitarian assistance is provided, those in need of international or other forms of protection are identified and those who wish to apply for asylum can do so where they are," the message reads.
In particular, the organizations reminded both countries of the need to prevent deaths and ensure the humane treatment of migrants and refugees as a top priority and stated their readiness to support the Belarusian authorities in advising and personally assessing the situation of migrants in relevant places, far from border areas.
"In view of the alarming situation at the border, both sides must uphold their obligations under international law and guarantee the safety, dignity, and protection of the rights of people stranded at the border," the organizations emphasize.
IOM and UNHCR are also ready to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees on both sides of the border.
As it was reported on November 8, Belarusian journalists have published a video of a large crowd of migrants heading to the Polish border. It is noted that, according to preliminary estimates, several hundred refugees were heading for the border. Among the migrants were children.
In this regard, the Ministry of Defense of Poland has increased the level of combat readiness of troops. At the same time, migrants claim that their ultimate goal is not Poland, but Germany.
As reported by Interfax with reference to Polish Foreign Minister Błażej Poboży, the number of border guards, police and soldiers guarding the country's eastern border has reached 20,000.