Conclusion on machine-readable travel documents for refugees and stateless persons No. 114 (LXVIII) 2017 The Executive Committee, Recalling the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951 Convention) and the 1954 Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons (1954 Convention), in particular article 28 and the Schedules and Annexes to these Conventions, Emphasizing that the protection of refugees is primarily the responsibility of all States and strongly emphasizing, in this context, the importance of active international solidarity and burden- and responsibilitysharing, Recalling further previous Executive Committee conclusions on travel documents, in particular Conclusion No 13 (XXIX) 1978, Conclusion No 18 (XXXI) 1980, para (i), and Conclusion No 49 (XXXVIII) 1987, as well as Conclusion No 112 (LXVII) 2016 on international cooperation from a protection and solutions perspective, Acknowledging with appreciation the contributions of host states in receiving and providing international protection to large numbers of refugees, including in protracted situations and with limited resources, Recognizing the importance of travel documents for refugees and stateless persons to facilitate their travel and the importance of granting visas to holders of these travel documents, where required for the implementation of durable solutions for refugees and complementary pathways to protection and solutions and other travel for refugees and stateless persons, thereby reducing the risk of irregular movement which may expose refugees and stateless persons to exploitation, abuse, violence and human trafficking, Noting that international standards and specifications for travel documents have undergone significant developments since the 1951 and 1954 Conventions were drafted, and that the effective realization of the right set out in article 28 of these Conventions can best be achieved if refugees and stateless persons have access to travel documents in line with international standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Annex 9 (Facilitation) to the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), Noting Amendment 25 of Annex 9 to the 1944 Chicago Convention adopted by the ICAO Council in June 2015, which requires that travel documents for refugees and stateless persons (Convention Travel Documents) are machine readable in accordance with the specifications of Doc 9303; Expressing appreciation for the revised Guide for Issuing Machine-Readable Convention Travel Documents for Refugees and Stateless Persons jointly issued by UNHCR and ICAO in February 2017, which incorporates guidance on the implementation of ICAO standard 3.12, Noting the practice of some States in issuing electronically enabled machine-readable Convention Travel Documents with biometric identification capacity, Noting also the benefits associated with the increased security features provided by machine-readable travel documents, and the importance of secure travel documents in promoting effective traveler identification, reducing the risk of document fraud, alteration and counterfeit, and facilitating global and reciprocal acceptance of travel documents, Emphasizing the importance of safeguards to protect personal data, such as those referred to in UNHCR’s Policy on the Protection of Personal Data of Persons of Concern, 1. Stresses the need for all States and other relevant stakeholders to intensify their efforts to create, expand or facilitate access to appropriate durable solutions and complementary pathways for refugees and stateless persons, in particular in order to support those communities and countries hosting large refugee populations; 2. Stresses the need for countries of origin to contribute to conditions conducive to voluntary repatriation and return, including through addressing root causes and providing the necessary travel documents; 3. Welcomes the efforts of States that have already transitioned to machine-readable Convention Travel Documents in accordance with ICAO standard 3.12 and Doc 9303, and calls upon States parties to the

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