Volker Türk (born 1965 in Linz) is an Austrian lawyer and United Nations official. He held various posts at the UNHCR in various regions of the world, including Malaysia, Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He later became Director of International Legal Protection at the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva. In February 2015, he was appointed deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees, making him the highest UN official in Austria.
Quote: "Australia has taken an approach where, essentially, people who come by boat are not able to seek asylum in Australia. And that is problematic from our perspective. [...] There are many very positive aspects in how Australia deals internationally, especially when it comes to resettled refugees, when it comes to Australia being a major donor country. And we appreciate this deeply, both from the Australian Government, as well as from the Australian people. But we have had long-standing concerns with the domestic asylum system and I think these concerns are very well known to the Government."
In an interview, Mr Turk: Urged the [UK] Government to do more to end detention of asylum seekers; Hit out at “irresponsible” rhetoric from Western politicians; Praised the response of British communities which have received refugees.; Mr Turk said he wanted to see “significant numbers” of refugees offered the chance of a new life in the UK after 2020, with a resettlement programme open to people fleeing trouble spots around the world, not just Syria.
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