Secondly, turning to the use of diplomatic assurances: UNHCR supports the
Committee’s view that diplomatic assurances must not be used as a loophole to
undermine the principle of non-refoulement. Only when assurances can effectively
guarantee protection from the risk of torture or other forms of ill treatment can reliance
be placed upon them. As such, assurances must be a credible and suitable means of
effectively eliminating the danger to the individual concerned. This will depend on
whether the assurances provided are binding on those organs or agents of the state
which are responsible for implementing measures that can eliminate the risk, and
whether the state authorities providing the assurances are in a position to ensure
compliance with the assurances given. In UNHCR’s view, it is essential that
assurances contain an unequivocal guarantee that the person concerned is free from
any danger and that clear procedures are established allowing for effective monitoring
and access to an effective remedy in case of non-compliance.
Thirdly, there are an increasing number of initiatives concerning the transfer of
asylum-seekers from one country to another for the purpose of processing their
asylum claims. Such initiatives, often done under special bilateral or multilateral state
arrangements, involve the transfer to either a country where the asylum-seeker first
sought or could have sought asylum, or to other countries with which the asylumseeker has no previous links. The legality and appropriateness of such arrangement
and transfer needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Hereby, among other
safeguards, it needs to be guaranteed that the asylum-seeker will be treated in
accordance with accepted international standards and will be protected against
refoulement.
In conclusion, UNHCR wishes to once again thank the Committee for this opportunity
and reiterates its willingness and readiness to continue ongoing fruitful cooperation,
including in the context of this Draft Revised General Comment.

I thank you for your attention.

2

Select target paragraph3