Presentation to the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research December 6, 2004 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Presentation to the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research December 6, 2004

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  1. Presentation to the Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice & Research December 6, 2004 Gregory Chen – Director of Policy Analysis and Research

  2. 11.9 million Refugees Others Newly Uprooted (5.5 Million Newly Uprooted) Total Refugees Refugees flee their countries because of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion USCR World Refugee Survey 2004

  3. Refugees – a global crisis • 11.9 million refugees and asylum seekers worldwide* • 23.6 million internally displaced persons* • 35.5 million total uprooted worldwide* * 2004 year end figures

  4. Warehousing - Bhutanese kids - In 1992, shortly after tens of thousands of Bhutanese refugees fled to Nepal, USCR visited the camps and met Devi (7)and his sister (2), who had been burned when Bhutanese soldiers torched theirhome 1992 2003 In 2003, USCR revisited the camps and saw Devi (18) and his sister (13) again. Devi speaks excellent English and hopes to attend technical college but like many others in the camp, he despairs about his future: “Bhutan won’t let us return home..and Nepal won’t let us work. What will be my future?”

  5. Warehoused Refugees More than 7 million refugees have been deprived of basic rights for ten years or more. • 4.5 million Middleast • Of which more than 2 million are Palestinians • 2.4 million Africa • 600,000 East Asia and Pacific • 230,000 South Asia • Of which 500,00 are Myanmarese


  6. Refugee Rights1951 UN Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol • Non – refoulement (forcible repatriation) • Article 33 • Guarantees certain rights to refugees, including • Article 17 – employment • Articles 26 and 28 - movement • Article 13 – property

  7. Thailand Myanmar Map 1

  8. Human Rights Abuses by the SPDC • Force relocation and internment • Rape • Torture • Extra-judicial killings • Military attacks on civilians • “Free-fire” zones

  9. Refugees from Myanmar • More than 500,000 Myanmarese refugees and asylum seekers in other countries • 140,000 in camps in Thailand (Karen) • 200,000 denied access to camps in Thailand (mostly Shan) • 120,000 in Bangladesh (Rohingya)

  10. Umpiem Mai Refugee Camp - Thailand

  11. Umpiem Mai

  12. Umpiem Mai

  13. Umpiem Mai

  14. Umpiem Mai

  15. 1997 Fire at Umpiem Mai Camp site

  16. Post-fire at Umpiem Mai

  17. The Special Needs of Immigrant and Refugee Children

  18. Chang Hong – a child’s journey • Soldiers (presumably Burmese) attacked his village when he was 7 or 8. • Killed his family • Chang Hong fled northward in Yunnan, China • Chinese government persecution • Stowed away as a teenager • Detained at a U.S. port as an unaccompanied child Assessing Chang Hong’s needs – legal needs social services education

  19. Unaccompanied Immigrant Children • 5,000-8,000 detained each year • Definition of “Unaccompanied” Orphaned, Abandoned, Separated • Multiple the federal and state agencies often involved • Dept of Homeland Security • Dept of Health and Human Services • Dept of Justice (Immigration Courts) • State court • Child welfare or delinquency systems

  20. Immigrant children may have experienced • Persecution, targeting • Abuse, neglect, or abandonment • Trafficking or smuggling • Forced military recruitment or portering • Child labor exploitation, beggaring • Gang violence or recruitment • “Night commuters”

  21. Selected immigration-based legal remedies for minors • Special Immigrant Juvenile status • Violence Against Women Act • Trafficking Victim Protection Act • Visas for Victims of Serious Crimes • Asylum -- Chang Hong’s case – SIJS and Asylum

  22. Holistic client advocacy Case study: Four boys from El Salvador arrive in your legal office seeking assistance with shelter needs. They have been living with a man at the church, who you learn has been molesting three of them.

  23. Non-legal needs of immigrant children • Counseling • Child welfare • Shelter • Psycho-social assessments • Education • Faith needs • Support for legal case

  24. Legislation to follow: • Senate Resolution 449 – • In October senators Kennedy, Brownback and Leahy introduced SRes 449 calling for an end to refugee warehousing. • SRes 449 urges the State Department to pursue models of refugee assistance compatible with the free exercise of human rights. • Help get this measure passed and to get a similar resolution introduced in the House. • Go to www.refugees.org (click on Government Advocacy)

  25. Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act of 2001Bill # S.121 – Sponsor Feinstein (D-CA) • Prohibits, with an exception for violent children, detention in adult or delinquent children facilities. • Prohibits an unaccompanied alien child from being repatriated to a country unless an appropriate voluntary agency has conducted an assessment of the country conditions and the Office has conducted an assessment of the suitability of the placement of the child. • Counsel and guardian ad litem provisions • Widows and Orphans Act of 2003 Bill # S.1353 - Sponsor Brownback (R-KS) • Establishes a special immigrant category (N Visa) for certain orphans and women at risk of harm. • Would help resettle women and children at risk

  26. www.refugees.org202/797-2105