HRW reports on refugees in Yemen and USA
Human Rights Watch publicou recentemente dous informes sobre o trato, bastante pouco humanitario, que reciben os refuxiados no Iemen e nos Estados Unidos. Copio extractos das respectivas introduccións…
For several years, tens of thousands of asylum seekers and refugees fleeing to Yemen from the volatile Horn of Africa region have endured terrible human rights abuses that have gone largely ignored by the outside world. Many have suffered violence or lost their lives while attempting the perilous sea crossing from the Horn. And the reception that awaits those who survive the journey depends not on why they have come but on where they come from.
Since the beginning of 2008, more than 100,000 people have set off to Yemen in boats from Djibouti or the Somali port city of Bosasso. More than 99 percent of them are Somalis and Ethiopians, and many are fleeing war or persecution at home. Some have fled seeking protection as refugees, some are looking for work and hope to pass through Yemen to Saudi Arabia and other wealthy countries, and some have left for a combination of reasons.
Yemen is the only country on the Arabian Peninsula to ratify the 1951 Refugee Convention, but it has interpreted the term “refugee” in a way that strips the convention of its core principles. The government of Yemen has displayed an extraordinary generosity towards Somalis, granting all of them prima facierefugee status because of the conflict raging in their country. But for Ethiopians the opposite is true. Whether they are economic migrants or asylum seekers in need of protection, the policy of the central government is to track them down, arrest them, and deport them.
The authorities do not recognize Ethiopians as legitimate asylum seekers, a discriminatory policy that violates international law. Even the few who make it to the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) without being arrested by the security forces and who then secure UNHCR recognition as refugees, do not receive official status from the Yemeni authorities. This leaves them vulnerable to serious continuing abuse. […]
Each year, the US government sends officials to refugee camps overseas to interview thousands of people displaced by persecution and conflict, classifies a select number as refugees in need of resettlement, and brings those refugees to live in the United States. After one year in the United States, every resettled refugee is required to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status, more familiarly known as a “green card.” However, refugees’ limited English, ignorance about the requirement, confusion over the legal process, and lack of resources, as well as the government’s failure to notify them of the requirement, often prevents them from timely filing to adjust their legal status. In some parts of the country, the consequence of not applying can be lengthy, indefinite and arbitrary detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). […]
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