Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said policies to deal with refugees must be based on human rights legislation.
Speaking at a conference on human rights organised by NICEM and NICRAS, Ms Anderson said;
“The international community and the European Union in particular has a responsibility to help address the growing humanitarian and refugee crisis across the Middle East and Europe.
“As an MEP, I have been working to ensure that all policies to deal with refugees are underpinned by human rights concerns.
“We have to make sure that refugees fleeing violence and persecution do not end up in countries where their human rights are not guaranteed.
“In my role as a member of the Committee for Regional Development I have been helping to shape a report on how EU cohesion policies can help refugees.
“Migrants and refugees in particular often face multiple forms of discrimination and have unique circumstances and needs. It is vital they are given the opportunity to help shape the programmes designed to help meet those needs.
“It is important that the communities involved, including refugees and migrants, are given more of a role in developing these programmes.
“I’ve also highlighted the need for an integrated approach in addressing access to key issues such as housing, educational and employment.”