Mawared, Issue 21
Winter 2014

This is the 21st issue of Mawared, the human rights education magazine published by Amnesty International’s regional office for the Middle East and North Africa in Beirut. This issue focuses on refugees and internally displaced persons. The issue also provides a wealth of relevant resources.



Download
Articles
~/Images/Articles/default.jpg
We hear every day about a wave of forced displacement within the borders of a country or beyond, or the sinking of a boat crowded with asylum seekers, or the arrest of a group of asylum seekers or sending them back to face their fate! Whatever the means of transport or route and destination, perhaps it is always the best of bad options, chosen by people not for a picnic, but forcibly, after being denied their basic rights and had nothing left but to cling to their right to life.
~/Images/Articles/default.jpg

The modern concept of refugee protection was established following the Second World War, in response to the millions of refugees who fled their countries of origin. The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (UN Refugee Convention) and its 1967 protocol instituted the international refugee protection regime.


~/Images/Articles/default.jpg

Amnesty International opposes forcible exile - when a government forces individuals to leave their own country on account of their political, religious or other conscientiously held beliefs or by reason of their ethnic origin, sex, colour, language, national or social origin, economic status, birth, or other status, and then prohibits their return, or, if they are already outside their own country, prevents them from returning for the same reasons. Amnesty International also opposes deportation from territories under military occupation in all cases.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/175876_Woman%20and%20her%20family%20in%20IDP%20camp%20in%20Atmeh.JPG

In the space of 12 months, 1.8 million people fled the armed conflict in Syria. By September 2013 the terrible milestone of two million refugees had been reached as men, women and children continued to pour out of the country. As of 9 December, the number stood at over 2.3 million registered refugees, 52 per cent of whom are children. In addition, at least 4.25 million people are displaced inside the country. In total, more than 6.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes in Syria, nearly a third of the country’s population. In July 2013, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that “We have not seen a refugee outflow escalate at such a frightening rate since the Rwandan genocide almost 20 years ago”.


~/Images/Articles/default.jpg
Tents were torn and some had collapsed in the harsh weather. Volunteers were trying to reinforce one tent, and the families’ belongings were scattered across the camp.  Officially, the camp is termed an informal settlement, as Lebanon does not allow refugee camps other than the ones that have existed for Palestinians for decades.
http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/Private-Syrian%20and%20Palestinian%20refugees%20Egypt_.jpg

The current state of political and social unrest, and increasing violence that Egypt is currently witnessing has had a negative impact on all segments of the population, especially asylum seekers and refugees, who have been facing increasing abuse and xenophobic attacks.  In early June 2013, increased violence and attacks have been particularly directed towards Ethiopian asylum seekers and refugees after the Ethiopian Government has announced the diversion of the Blue Nile and the inauguration of the construction process of the Great Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia.  Unfortunately, the media has played a negative role in flaring up this violence, as Egypt was depicted as facing an acute water scarcity crisis.  


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/Sidi%20Salim%20Mashashya%20camp%20in%20Tripoli.JPG

Since the end of the conflict, the Tawarghas’ attempts to return home have been met with repeated threats by militias. The government, too, warned them against unilateral actions and called to abandon return plans, but failed to provide an alternative. In fact, the Libyan authorities have done very little to improve the living conditions of the Tawargha – and other internally displaced communities – or find a durable solution to their plight. Instead, they opted for a policy of appeasement towards the very militia that were responsible for the Tawarghas’ forcible displacement and other human rights abuses such as torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention during and after the conflict.


~/Images/Articles/default.jpg

Today, about 53,000 asylum-seekers live in Israel, two-thirds from Eritrea and one-fourth from Sudan.  Approximately 1,000 of these asylum-seekers are being held in remote prison facilities in the Israeli Negev desert, near the border with Egypt.  Asylum-seekers in Israel lack access to work permits, health and welfare benefits, and a fair and transparent refugee status determination process. For the vast majority of the time they have been in Israel, Eritreans and Sudanese have been unable to file applications for asylum.  Instead, the Israeli government grants Eritreans and Sudanese non-deportation status—Israel recognizes that it would be in violation of international law to deport them by force to their countries of origin but at the same time fails to respect their basic human rights.


~/Images/Articles/default.jpg

Over the last 35 years, as Afghanistan has suffered repeated cycles of conflict, Iran’s policies for Afghan asylum seekers in Iran have changed dramatically. From 1979 to 1992, the Iranian government automatically gave most Afghans entering Iran the right to remain indefinitely-in effect, recognizing them as refugees on a prima facie basis. From 1992 on, however, Iran began encouraging and pressuring Afghans to return to Afghanistan through various measures including the implementation of onerous procedures for renewing refugee papers, refusal to register newly arriving Afghans as refugees, and, increasingly, denial of public services to recognized refugees.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/Darfur%202%20DSC01957.JPG

2013 marks the tenth anniversary of armed conflict, mass human rights violations and an unrelenting humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan.  And sadly, ten years on, this year the situation in Darfur has deteriorated dramatically.  It began in January with renewed fighting in North Darfur and continued in April, with an upsurge in intercommunal fighting and grave human rights abuses against civilians in Central Darfur State.  And it has not let up since. It has been some of the worst violence in Darfur in years.  How troubling that not only do lasting solutions to the crisis continue to elude the people of Darfur and the world community but, worse,  a new chapter of killings, rape and mass displacement is being written.


~/Images/Articles/default.jpg

This activity was adapted from ‘Seeking Safety’, an Amnesty International human rights resource on asylum and refugee issues.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/WebResources/الكتيب%20الإرشادي%20بشأن%20تطبيق%20المبادئ%20المتعلقة%20برد%20المساكن%20والممتلكات%20إلى%20اللاجئين%20والنازحين.JPG

The Handbook is organised on a principle-by-principle basis. Coverage of each of the 23 principles begins with a brief description of the rationale and legal basis for including the principle in question within the text. This is followed by ‘typical scenarios’ in which each principle could be applicable. These scenarios provide practical examples on how the contents of each principle have been addressed previously in restitution processes, and how practitioners can most effectively benefit from best practices and lessons learned over the past decades in addressing restitution questions. These examples are then followed by ‘common questions’ that restitution practitioners may confront in applying the Principles, and which are intended to assist in clarifying many of the most frequent restitution challenges.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/WebResources/كيفية%20إنجاح%20تطبيق%20اتفاقية%20كمبالا%20في%20مساعدة%20النازحين%20داخليا.JPG

This Guide aims to identify ways for African CSOs to advocate with their governments for the ratification of the Kampala Convention and its incorporation into national law. It also gives guidance on how CSOs can use the Convention to contribute to effective protection and assistance of IDPs on the ground. It builds on examples of activities that CSOs have undertaken in the past to help prevent arbitrary displacement, to protect IDPs during displacement, and to help them find durable solutions.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/قاعدة%20بيانات%20النزوح%20الداخلي.JPG

 Each country affected by conflict-induced displacement is covered by an Internal Displacement Profile. The Profile contains the entirety of the information included in the database for a given country. It begins with an Overview highlighting the main characteristics of the displacement situations as well as key concerns. This is followed by a compilation of excerpts from reports by a wide range of different sources. The excerpts are grouped together into Information Envelopes, each of them covering a specific aspect of the respective displacement situation. Besides the excerpts, each envelope includes a summary of its content in bullet points prepared by the IDMC, as well as direct links to the sources used. The envelopes are grouped into sections which broadly follow the structure of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/Refworld.JPG

UNHCR staff, refugee lawyers, all those involved with refugee-status determination within Governments, and others concerned with the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, can find a wealth of relevant documents in the collection. Included in the collection is a unique jurisprudence collection, covering more than 40 national jurisdictions, and a vast amount of international judgments and decisions from the United Nations, the European Court of Human Rights and other international and regional courts. A comprehensive collection of international instruments relating to refugees and human rights, with the most recent lists of States Parties to key conventions, is also available. The legislation collection, contains national and international legislation relevant in assessing asylum claims and is the largest collection of its kind. Finally, Refworld contains many special agreements, such as memoranda of understanding, host-country agreements and voluntary repatriation agreements.


http://amnestymena.org/Images/Articles/Issue%2021/FMO%20FMR%202.JPG
Forced Migration Review (FMR) is the most widely read publication on forced migration – available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and free of charge in print and online. It is published by the Refugee Studies Centre in the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Through FMR, authors from around the world analyse the causes and impacts of displacement; debate policies and programmes; share research findings; reflect the lived experience of displacement; and present examples of good practice and recommendations for policy and action. - See more at: http://www.fmreview.org/#sthash.jN3tgV9i.dpuf

Forced Migration Review (FMR) is the most widely read publication on forced migration – available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic, and free of charge in print and online. It is published by the Refugee Studies Centre in the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford. Through FMR, authors from around the world analyse the causes and impacts of displacement; debate policies and programmes; share research findings; reflect the lived experience of displacement; and present examples of good practice and recommendations for policy and action.





PREVIOUS ISSUES