Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-03-09-Speech-1-183"

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"Madam President, last year, the number of refugees worldwide grew to over 12 million, while as many as 26 million people have been internally displaced, which shows the seriousness of the problem. Unfortunately, standards are not in the slightest sense harmonised, because the percentage of applicants from certain third countries who are granted refugee status ranges from around 0% to 90% in different Member States. A unified procedure should be established for granting asylum, as well as unified standards which enable decisions to be made about who should be recognised as a refugee or whether a person is in need of international protection. All the people who make decisions in this field should have equal access to professional information about the applicant’s country of origin and the bodies authorised to hear appeals, as should the people who are applying for asylum. During the waiting period, it is extremely important for the authorities to give due consideration to the diverse needs of asylum seekers in more difficult circumstances, such as children, disabled people and women. It is essential to establish a common database, in order to publish and collect information about countries of origin. It is worth emphasising that the obligation to provide assistance is guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and is legally binding for all EU Member States and on EU’s Frontex agency."@en1

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