Basic Refugee Rights
Ensure asylum seekers have access to safe living conditions
Immigrants and refugees need a safe place to live. Human rights organizations have documented violence against asylum seekers, but most do not report such incidents because they fear the Mexican police will send them home. As a result, migrant shelters are overwhelmed, and many migrants and refugees are forced to live on meager savings and remittances. Some wind up living on the streets.
Many asylum seekers flee violence, persecution, and natural disasters in their home countries. They travel through treacherous terrain to seek refuge in the United States. The journey north is treacherous and difficult, and the people who make it often face gender-based violence, human trafficking, and gang violence. Many of these migrants and refugees are Black.
The Trump Administration has severely limited asylum seekers’ access to safe living conditions. These policies, known as Title 42, continue into the Biden Administration. This policy essentially turns away most asylum seekers based on public health grounds. The policy also has been criticized by civil rights leaders and front line organizations that serve migrants. This is a systemic, broad assault on immigrants and refugees.
Ensure asylum seekers have access to livelihood opportunities
The first step in providing asylum for refugees is to ensure that they have meaningful access to livelihood opportunities. The refugee situation often lasts years or even decades, making it essential to offer these individuals an opportunity to improve their lives and contribute to society. To do this, we must provide them with freedom of movement and the right to join trade unions and labour associations. In addition, we must provide them with equal access to vocational training and education.
The lack of legal and practical access to the labor market means that refugee workers are largely excluded from formal, semi-formal, and regular employment. This leaves them with limited options for a steady income, and often leads them to engage in illegal work and livelihood options. Consequently, their exclusion from the labor market depresses wages and labor standards. This results in a major loss to economies.
Ensure asylum seekers have access to medical care
Despite the legal rights of asylum seekers, many of them still face numerous barriers to health care. While some of these barriers may be due to lack of legal protection, others are related to cultural differences or a lack of information about the local health care system. In addition to these barriers, many of these individuals have no means of earning an income.
Providing timely, culturally appropriate health care is a major challenge for healthcare providers globally. This study aims to identify barriers and opportunities for improving the provision of health care to asylum seekers. To do this, the authors surveyed members of four of the largest refugee communities in Corio/Norlane.
The Australian Government’s Centre for Culture, Ethnicity, and Health (CCEH) has produced a series of cultural competence tip sheets for health service providers. These documents are designed to help organisations understand the cultural background of their refugee clients and meet their needs accordingly.
Ensure asylum seekers have access to education
New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced a plan to help asylum seekers start school in the city. Project Open Arms will provide a range of services to ensure children receive crucial support as they adjust to school life in New York City. In particular, wraparound services will be provided to help ensure these children receive appropriate education and mental health care in public schools.
The Education Ministry hopes to open 15 DYEP classes on the islands for the 2018-2019 school year. In addition, it plans to introduce pre-primary classes in all government-run camps, including the Moria camp on Lesbos. While these steps are a positive step in the right direction, they still fall short of providing adequate education for the vast majority of asylum seekers on the islands. As a result, donors should support the Ministry’s efforts to expand access to education on the islands.
The international community should ensure that children in refugee camps receive an education. The right to education must be enforced by governments and the international community. In order to do this, the international community must demonstrate strong political will. It is difficult to meet the educational needs of these vulnerable populations without additional resources, so UNHCR relies heavily on special donations to help fund education programmes in refugee camps. If children are deprived of education, they risk losing an entire generation.