Deportation: A Ghost that Hunts every Refugee
BA in English and international relations.
online dialogue facilitator
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Lately, some countries have been reconsidering their migration policies. New laws and restrictions appeared, hence, tightening the overall situation for those who were obliged to flee their homelands. We face a serious dilemma. Did the world grow tired and bored of refugees? did they regret opening the doors for them? Who will protect these people? What is the position of international law from this case?
As a strategy to shrink the country’s some 4 million Syrian population, Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul has boosted operations against Syrian refugees. Officials have been raiding the homes and businesses of Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon causing panic. According to the National News Agency in Lebanon, over 301 Syrians were deported in May.
These attempts include other nationalities. They are not limited to Refugees from a Syrian origin but also other nationalities like Palestinians.
Countries like Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan have a stumbling economy and growing unemployment. Therefore, Refugees are an extra burden. People hold different positions toward the last events. They blame refugees for the economic depression ignoring the fact that conditions weren’t any better before. Usually, refugees are low paid, they are unregistered, and they accept what the local reject. I believe that governments are using refugees as a Scapegoat to justify their failure.
What Rights Do Refugees Have?
International Law, with all its branches, protects refugees and asylum seekers around the world. As human beings, they deserve to live safely and with dignity. These are some declarations and conventions that shield Refugees:
- 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
- 1967 Optional Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 14)
- American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (art. 27)
- American Convention on Human Rights (art. 22)
- Cartagena Declaration on Refugees
- African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (art. 12)
- Arab Charter on Human Rights (art. 28)
- Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (art. 12)
- European Convention on Human Rights (arts. 2, 3, and 5)
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (art. 3)
- African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (art. 22)
Although the list sounds endless we still see breaches for these international conventions with a slim and weak reaction to stop it. It is worth noting that Refugee law and international human rights law are closely intertwined.
What about Their Right as Humans
Right of Non-Refoulement?
It refers to the obligation of States not to return, a refugee to “the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, art. 33(1). It is universally acknowledged as a Human Right.
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
Freedom of movement, however, is also a key right for refugees within their host country. Article 26 of the 1951 Convention provides that States shall afford refugees the right to choose their place of residence within the territory and to move freely within the State.
RIGHT TO LIBERTY AND SECURITY OF THE PERSON
The right to liberty and security of the person is important in the context of how asylum seekers are treated within the intended country of refuge.
RIGHT TO FAMILY LIFE
The family is seen as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.” See, e.g., International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 23(1). In respect of this right, a number of countries provide for the granting of derivative status to dependent relatives. Thus, where an individual is granted asylum, his or her dependent relatives will also receive protection through him or her.
The rights to education, access to justice, employment, and other fundamental freedoms and privileges similarly enshrined in international and regional human rights treaties.
Notwithstanding, all these laws and conventions people still suffer. We face a serious problem of enforcement and rule of law