Refugee Crisis In The Modern Day World

Turn the pages of history and you will invariable see that societies and civilizations committed to protecting, upholding and celebrating human dignity have flourished. The modern concept of human rights emphasises the inherent, inalienable rights of all- civil, political, social, economic and cultural- that governments must work to protect and promote.

The concept of human rights is sometimes seen as a ‘Western’ invention. This contention is problematic in two ways: first, human rights cannot be seen as a ‘gift from the West’ as they are strongly rooted in other religious and cultural traditions as well. Second, in their present form human rights are not imposed by the ‘West’ on unwilling developing nations. A diverse community of nations contributed to the modern formulations and upholds it today.

India, for example, has a long spiritual tradition of respect for rights. Rights to freedom of thought and speech, of association, of personal faith, and more, were seen as part of human existence from the Vedic Age, before the common era. Texts about governance, justice, ethics and morality laid out duties for individuals based on the principals of truth, self-control, generosity, non-violence and so on that, if upheld, would ensure realization of the rights of the others. Post-Vedic Buddhist concept of non-violence of deed and thought also functioned in a similar way. Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, developed the concept of Human freedom as a pluralistic many-sided truth, while the ancient treaties Arthashastra by Kautilya laid down codes of conduct that developed into laws against acts such as illegal detention, custodial death, rape and corruption.

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The modern Indian understanding of human rights thus reflects diverse cultural and historical influences, resting in the fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution of India. While the natural rights doctrine prioritizes individual liberties above all, this understanding of rights highlights the inextricable relationship between rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities, to benefit both the individual and all of the society.

Read: Human Rights And Mental illness In The Contemporary Era.

It was the United Nations Charter that said the foundation for the current international human rights. Architecture, with its provision regarding the “Inherent dignity” and the “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”. In light of the atrocities of the Nazi regime and the suffering resulting from the Second World War, the international community believed that the provision of the Charter needed to be further developed in a more specific and practical way. The aim was to create a guiding document with strong moral force that outlined the details of the vision of the peaceful world.

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WHO IS A REFUGEE?

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

  • By Warsan Shire

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.1

Refugees are ‘migrants’ in the broader sense of the term yet they continue to be a distinct category of people.  They are referred to those persons who leave their states in which they have permanent residence to escape persecution of military action. The convention relating to the status of refugees of 1951 defines refugees under article 1 as under:

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Any person who going to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of Race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is enabling, to such fear, is willing to avail himself of the power protection of that country or not having a nationality and being outside the country office for my habitable residence as a result of such events is unable or going to search where is unwilling to return it.

The above definition Lays down that only those persons shall be deemed refugees who have well-founded fear of persecution, i.e., who has serious threats life and liberty. Such persons are said to be political refugees as opposed to ordinary migrants or economic refugees all those who leave their country for reasons purely for personal convenience. The crucial phrase in the definition is “well-founded fear of being persecuted” which comprises subjective state on that part of the refugees (fear) and objective facts about the country from which the refugee is fleeing (‘well founded’, “persecuted’). Although these terms have not been defined by the Convention, torture, discrimination of race, sex religion, nationality, language or membership of a particular group and other reasons may be regarded as a cause of persecution. Thus, only those persons fling political prosecution can effectively qualify for Refugee status because prosecution is a denial of Human Rights. A person lives in his country because he is denied the enjoyment of basic Human Rights. A person filling to another state shall be deemed as economic migrant if he is motivated by economic considerations.

Read: Violence Against Women

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However, on certain occasions a person playing on economic reasons may also be termed as Refugee if his economic considerations are interwoven with the political consideration of his STate. The politico-economic system of a State main result the feeling of a person from his own State. For instance, if a certain ethnic minority in a state is denied trading and economic rights as a result of the government’s policy of expelling an ethnic group (for instance, Asian in Uganda), and they flee to other states as they are not left with an appropriate means of earning a living may be considered political economic migrants. In such a case, the policy, through economic, is done for a political motive and is directed only at the members of a certain ethnic group. Such persons are purely political refugees in accordance with the 1951 convention and can be granted such status irrespective of whether the departure was anticipated or abrupt. It is to be noted that over the years, the refugee concept has been broadened to encompass those people as well who have fled due to the events that pose a serious threat to their life and liberty.

It is to be noted that refugee status is granted to a person who is outside the country of his nationality and is unable are unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country International production is not granted to a person as long as persons remain within the territorial jurisdiction of his home country that is the country of his nationality Refugee status is granted to also to a person without a nationality if he is outside the country offers for my habitual residence. It is the submitted that a person having nationality or without Nationality is granted on the same footing in the case of statelessness refugees the country of Nationality is replaced by the country of is formal habitable residence.

Refugees are different from Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), who are displaced from anyone area to another with their borders of their own country on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances. Legally, they fall under the sovereignty of their own governments, even though that government may not be able to willing to protect them. By the end of 2008 Davidson 42 million victims on conflicts and prosecution worldwide living as refugees or IDPs.

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They are ordinary people just like us but they have lost everything they owned. They just want earn a good livelihood and want to lead a life of dignity, freedom and security. It is very hard for them to maintain their livelihood as they have to shift to new places where they don’t have enough resources that would fulfil their will of survival.

A refugee has to face endless numbers of challenges. They have to search for a shelter for themselves so that can live safely, they have to find employment for the generation of income for their survival. There are umpteen number of barriers such as language and communication barriers, social acceptance, community attitudes, and disruption in education of the children.

Displacement of families give the chills to the children the most. They have to fight with the physical and psychological trauma that embeds the fear of displacement in their mind. They have to carry scars of displacement and war with them throughout the life. They can’t help their families because of the obstruction in their education and because of this they aren’t able to uplift their conditions.

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Refugees are sometimes discriminated by the residents of the country because they don’t follow the same culture as of the residents. Racism on the basis culture and situations, bad behaviours, ill- treatment tears the soul of refugees apart.

Racism, in its various manifestations, has led to gross violations of human rights throughout history. Racial differences have long been used to justify atrocities ranging from imperialism to the holocaust- a crime so grave that a new word, genocide, was coined to explain its horror.

A most egregious and long-standing expression of institutionalised racism was the odious system of apartheid in South Africa. It was ultimately eliminated by a combination of extreme international pressure organised under the aegis of the United Nations and massive protest both within and outside the country. At the United Nations, India stood at the frontline of the fight against racial discrimination and apartheid, a cause the country champion from the UN’s earliest days.

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Case: R v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, Ex parte Sivakumaran and Conjoined Appeals (UN High Commissioner for Refugees Intervening) [1988] AC 958, 16 December 1987 (UK House of Lords)

The requirement that an applicant for refugee status had to have a “well-founded” fear of persecution if he was returned to his own country meant that there had to be demonstrated a reasonable degree of likelihood that he would be so persecuted, and in deciding whether the applicant had made out his claim that his fear of persecution was well-founded the Secretary of State could take into account facts and circumstances known to him or established to his satisfaction but possibly unknown to the applicant in order to determine whether the applicant’s fear was objectively justified.

The requirement that an applicant for refugee status had to have a “well-founded” fear of persecution if he was returned to his own country meant that there had to be demonstrated a reasonable degree of likelihood that he would be so persecuted, and in deciding whether the applicant had made out his claim that his fear of persecution was well-founded the Secretary of State could take into account facts and circumstances known to him or established to his satisfaction but possibly unknown to the applicant in order to determine whether the applicant’s fear was objectively justified.

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  • UNHCR’s Intervention: R v. Secretary of State for the Home Department, ex parte Saravamuthu Sivakumaran, Skandarajah Vaithialingam, Nadarahaj Vilavarahaj, Navaratnasingham Vathahan, Vinasithamby Rasalingan, Kandiah Navaratnam, Case for the Intervener, 1987.

Since we all are human beings and our period of existence is predestined, all the human beings worldwide must help the refugees in all the possible ways. Each and every country must allot certain areas for the refugees seeking asylum in their countries. Also, the government of the respective country must also arrange the basic necessities for the survival of the refugees and give them opportunities to uplift their lives.

Read: Judicial Review Under Indian Constitution

There were many points when India has seen large influx of refugee population throughout history. Refugees from greater Iran migrated to Gujarat (Indian state), this migration took place in 16th and 17th century. During the partition of 1947 many of the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were displaced due the bifurcation the countries (India and Pakistan). Following the footsteps of the 14th Dalai Lama more than 150,000 Tibetan refugees have fled to India during the past 60 years. He left with his initial entourage following the abortive 1959 Tibetan uprising. During the Bangladesh liberation war, the Bangladesh- India border was opened to allow Bengalis fleeing genocide by the Pakistan army’s SSG units to render safe shelter in India. Rohingya people are ethnic Muslims of Rakhine State, Burma. Rohingyas have been declared as the most persecuted ethnic group in the world by the UNHCR. India hosts a significant number of Rohingyas in Delhi, Hyderabad, Kashmir, West Bengal and Northeast India.

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Case: Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs v. Khawar [2002] HCA 14,

11 April 2002 (High Court of Australia)

“Where persecution consists of two elements, the criminal conduct of private citizens, and the toleration or condonation of such conduct by the state or agents of the state, resulting in the withholding of protection which the victims are entitled to expect, then the requirement that the persecution be by reason of one of the Convention grounds may be satisfied by the motivation of either the criminals or the state.”

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Refugees are not terrorist; they are often the victims of terrorism. It is a duty of every individual to help the people who are in need and especially when they are displaced from their own land. It is the right of humans to seek asylum and it is humanity to provide asylum. Everyone needs to understand that no one leaves their home until that place frightens the ones living there.

INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE ORGANISATION (IRO)

The Special Commitment of Refugees and Displaced Persons, established by the economic and social council on February 16, 1946 drafted a Constitution for the new organisation which was submitted to the Council. The draft was considered first by the Committee of the Whole and the Council and later, by the Third Committee of the General Assembly. The Assembly adopted the draft and created a temporary organisation the International Refugee Organisation (IRO), The Constitution of which was approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 15, 1946 after considering the gravity of the problems of refugees.

A Preparatory Commission for IRO, PCIRO was established and, on July 1, 1947, took over the functions and activities previously exercised by UNRRA on behalf of refugees and displaced persons. It perform the functions until August 20, 1948. IRO succeeded the Preparatory Commission on August 20, 1948. By the time it had reached its operation in February 1952, IRO had result more than a million displaced persons and refugees in new homes throughout the World. It repatriated approximately 73,000 to 1,600,000 persons. The assistance provided by it included the care and maintenance of refugees in camps, vocational training, orientations for resettlement, and an extensive training service. IRO replaced you an hour or the main objective of IRO was repatriation.

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)

The General Assembly on December 3, 1949 adopted Resolution 319 ( IV ) wherein it decided to established UNHCR and on December 14, 1950 adopted the statute of the office of the United Nations high Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR). It replaced  the IRO. UNHCR came into existence on January 1, 1951. UNHCR was set up initially for a period of 3 years. Later, General Assembly decided to prolong the mandate for a further period of 5 years and made its renewable beginning from January 1, 1954. In the year 2002, the General Assembly resolved to continue UNHCR for a period of five years from January 1, 2004. Antonio Gutterres of Portugal was appointed the High Commissioner on June 15, 2005 for a 5 year term. In April 2010 the General Assembly re-elected Antonio to a second five year term. UNHCR is a subsidiary organ of the general assembly through the ECOSOC and its report is considered as a separate item. Its headquarters are in Geneva which coordinates the activities of 274 subordinate offices located in as many as 68 States. The office also develops appropriate policy to curb the appropriate policy to curb the refugee problems. The high commissioner is elected by the General Assembly on the nomination of the secretary general and is responsible to the Assembly.

The statute of UNHCR provided that the high commissioner shall seek the opinion of an Advisory Committee on refugees. If it is it established in 1951, the ECOSOC established the Advisory Committee on refugees to guide the high commissioner, at his request in the exercise of his functions. The committee consisted of 15 States of whom 12 were members of the United Nations and three were non members. They were selected on the strength of their devotion to the solution of the refugee problems. Advisory Committee in 1955 was constituted by the General Assembly and ECOSOC as an Executive Committee known as UN Refugee fund Executive Committee UNREF committee which retained the advisory functions of the Advisory Committee. The membership of the committee had the original 15 member states of the Advisory Committee with an additional five members which became six  in 1957. In 1958, the UNREF committee was replaced by the Executive Committee of the High Commissioners Program (EXCOM) which not only rendered advices to the High Commissioner, at his request, but it also reviews the use of emergency fund .

The work of UNHCR is humanitarian, social and non-political. Its basic tasks are to provide International Protection to the Refugees within the High Commissioners mandate and to seek permanent solutions to their problems by facilitating their voluntary repatriation or their simulation within new National Communities. The UNHCR initially focused its efforts on aiding refugees and displaced persons in Europe after World War II, but in later decades effort was shifted to the resettling refugees who were the victims of War, political turmoil or natural disasters in Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America. The UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize twice in 1954 and 1981 for its excellent work by 1997 UNHCR provided internal protection and assistance to more than 12 million people who fled from war or persecution. UNHCR has been an active office for the cause of refugees. Many states in many parts of the world are under considerable pressure from public and private drugs to treat refugees in accordance with human right norms.

CONVENTION ON THE STATUS OF REFUGEES:

The most important International instruments drawn up relating to problems of refugees is the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 which was no formally adopted on 28 July 1951 after considering that the Charter of United Nations and Universal Declaration of Human Rights have affirmed the principle that all human beings shall enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms without discrimination. The Convention came into force on April 22, 1954. As on June 15, 2000 The Convention had 136 States parties.

Read: DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF PRISONERS: JUSTIFIED OR NOT?

The Convention applied according to Para 2 of article 1 only to those persons who had become refugees before January 1, 1951. In order to widen the scope of Convention a Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees was concluded in 1967 which under para 2 of article omitted the expression “as a result of you and securing before January 1, 1951” and add the words “as a result of such events”. Legal status of refugees has been defined in the above two International treaties. They also defined the rights and duties of the refugees and main provisions for various aspects of the everyday lives including the right to work, education, public assistance and social security and their right to travel documents, since they are not in a position to use their own National passports. Main provisions of the convention of 1951 are as follows:

  • Personal Status of Refugees
  • Movable and Immovable Property
  • Civil Rights
  • Treatment of Refugees
  • Illegal entry of Refugees
  • Expulsion of Refugees
  • Travel Documents
  • General obligations
  • Prohibition of Expansion of Return
  • Access to Courts

The Convention recognize that Refugee status of a person comes to an end under certain conditions. once an individual is determined to be a refugee, its status as refugee maintain unless it is cyst through the actions of the refugee such as firstly, by establishment in his or her country of origin, (I. e., the country of nationality of the country of former habitual residence in case a Refugee is stateless) and secondly, through the fundamental changes in the objective circumstances in the country of origin upon which Refugee status was based. The latter is commonly referred to as the sea circumstances or general cessation classes.

REFUGEES IN INDIA

India is neither party to the Refugees Convention of 1951 nor its Protocol of 1966. Although the question of being a party to Refugee Convention has been considered by the Government of India from time to time, i.e., in 1967 and 1992 – 94 the Ministry of External Affairs considered the Convention and protocol as a ‘partialism for Refugee Protection drafted in Euro-Centric Context’. These instruments according to the Ministry are designed primarily to deal with individual cases in contrast to situations of mass influx which the country has been facing. Similar argument has been given by other developing countries as well. India not being a party to Convention is not legally bound to provide rights to refugees laid down in the above instruments

India in the past has not enacted any domestic legislation in relation to refugees despite the fact that it has invariably provided refugee to the people fleeing from countries like Tibet, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

The Indian Constitution provides that some of the fundamental rights guaranteed under part 3 of Constitution shall be available to ‘all persons’ and consequently, they are available to refugees as well. Thus, right to equal protection of law guaranteed under Article 14, right to protection in respect of conviction for offences provided under Article 20, right to life and liberty guaranteed under article 21 and right to protection against arbitrary arrest and detention provided under Article 22 are available to refugees the Supreme Court of India.

In Louis De Raedt versus Union of India, held that Article 21 of constitution protect life and personal liberty to all persons and therefore aliens in Indian territory shall not be deprived of those rights except according to procedure established by law. However right to life and liberty does not include the right to reside and settle in this country as mentioned in Article 19 1 c which is applicable to citizens of this country.

In Arunachal Pradesh versus Khudiram Chakma, it was stated that chakmas are foreigners in accordance with citizenship act of 1955 and therefore they are not entitled to all the Fundamental Rights enshrined in part 3 of the Constitution.

The decision of Supreme Court given in National Human Rights Commission vs State of Arunachal Pradesh, is relevant regarding the protection of some of the rights to refugees and is worth mentioning. In the above case it was pointed out that a large number of Chakmas from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) were displaced by the Kaptal Hydel Power Project in 1964. They took shelter Assam and Tripura. Most of them were telling the states and became Indian citizens in due course of time. Since a large number of refugees taking shelter in Assam the state government explain its inability to rehabilitate all of them. However about 4012 chakmas was settled in Arunachal Pradesh. They were also allotted some land in consultant with local tribals. The Government of India also sanction rehabilitation assistance @ rupees 4200 per family. The population of Chakmas in Arunachal Pradesh was estimated to be around 65000.  Later relations between citizens of Arunachal Pradesh and the chakmas have deteriorated and the latter have made a complaint that they are being subjected to repressive measures with a view to forcibly expelling them from the state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Read: Human Rights And Right To Education

UNHCR ROLE IN IDNIA

The office of the Chief of Mission was opened in 1981 under the broad umbrella of United Nations Development Programme UNDP to respond to the steady stream of Afghan Asylum seekers. India does not have a national law for refugees and therefore UNHCR was requested to exercise it’s mandated an expertise in determining whether a person is a refugee. Under the statute of the office, UNHCR deals in India with individual Asylum seekers. Once a Refugee is recognised, the three solutions UNHCR promotes as appropriate in the individual circumstances which are: voluntary repatriation, local integration and resettlement to a third country. All these activities are perceived enclose legion with the Government of India. Since 1995, India has been an active member of Executive Committee of UNHCR. From 25335 refugees under its mandate in 1993 there are 11172 refugees under units IAS mandate in India in the year 2005. Almost all have been issued residential permits by the government.

ENDING STATELESNESS:

WHAT IS STATELESSNESS?

The international legal definition of a stateless person is “a person who is not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law”. In simple terms, this means that a stateless person does not have a nationality of any country. Some people are born stateless, but others become stateless.

When a person does not posses the nationality of any state he is referred to as a stateless person. A person may be without nationality knowingly or unknowingly intentionally or through no fault of his own. For instence, when an illegitimate child is born in a state he does not apply jus soli to an alien mother under whose national law the child does not acquire his nationality, or where a legitimate child is born in such a state to parents who themselves have no nationality the child is born in such a to parents to themselves have no nationality the child becomes a stateless person. The statelessness may occur after birth. For instance, it may occur as a result of deprivation of loss of nationality by way of penalty or otherwise. All individuals who have lost their original nationality without having acquired another, are, in fact, stateless persons. A stateless person does not enjoy those rights which are conferred to a person in international law. For instance, their interests are not protected by any state: they are refusing enjoyment of rights which are dependent on reciprocity.

Statelessness can occur for several reasons, including discrimination against particular ethnic or religious groups, or on the basis of gender; the emergence of new states and transfers of territory between existing states; and gaps in nationality laws. Whatever the cause, statelessness has a serious consequence for people in almost every country and in all regions of the world.

Today at least 10 million people around the world are denied a nationality. As a result, they often aren’t allowed to go to school, see a doctor, get a job, open a bank account, buy a house or even get married.

Stateless people may have difficulty accessing basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. Without these things, they can face a lifetime of obstacles and disappointment.

PREVENTION FROM STATELESSNESS

When analysing whether there could be a statelessness problem in a country, it is helpful to start by considering whether the domestic legal framework is generally amenable to the avoidance of statelessness. In particular, there are a number of procedural safeguards that, if in place, can help to ensure that decisions on nationality attribution are fair and correct. These safeguards also provide an avenue for States to actively step in and prevent statelessness where potential cases arise. As indicated in a very useful Report of the Secretary General on Human Rights and the Arbitrary Deprivation of Nationality

Read: Reservation – An Issue In India

A simple technique for the reduction of statelessness is thus the modification of the domestic legal framework to bring it into line with relevant international standards for the prevention of statelessness and applying these changes with retroactive effect. This method was employed for instance in Algeria, where nationality legislation initially prevented women from transmitting their nationality to their children. New legislation in 2005 established that nationality was acquired by birth to an Algerian mother or father, without restricting application of the provision only to children born after the law came into effect, thus resolving existing cases of statelessness. Other countries in the region, for example Egypt, opted to allow acquisition of nationality by application during a transitional period.

SEXUAL AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AGAINST REFUGEES:

Sexual violence, gender-based violence and violence against women are terms that are commonly used interchangeably. All these terms refer to violations of fundamental human rights that perpetuate sex-stereotyped roles that deny human dignity and the self-determination of the individual and hamper human development. They refer to physical, sexual and psychological harm that reinforces female subordination and perpetuates male power and control.

The term violence against women refers to any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual and psychological harm to women and girls, whether occurring in private or in public. Violence against women is a form of gender-based violence and includes sexual violence.

Sexual violence, including exploitation and abuse, refers to any act, attempt or threat of a sexual nature that results, or is likely to result, in physical, psychological and emotional harm. Sexual violence is a form of gender-based violence.

UNHCR employs an inclusive conception of sexual and gender-based violence that recognises that, although the majority of victims/survivors are women and children, boys and men are also targets of sexual and gender-based violence.

During armed conflict, social structures are disrupted.  Women and children face the additional risks of being subjected to sexual and gender-based violence when fleeing the fighting and seeking asylum. Family members are often dispersed during flight, leaving responsible for protecting and maintaining their households. Children separated from the rest of their families and women as solely responsible for protecting and maintaining their households.

The root causes of sexual and gender-based violence lie in a society’s attitudes towards and practices of gender discrimination, which place women in a subordinate position in relation to men. The lack of social and economic value for women and women’s work and accepted gender roles perpetuate and reinforce the assumption that men have decision-making power and control over women. Through acts of sexual and gender-based violence, whether individual or collective, perpetrators seek to maintain privileges, power and control over others.

Gender roles and identities are determined by sex, age, socio-economic conditions, ethnicity, nationality and religion. Relationships between male and female, female and female, and male and male individuals are also marked by different levels of authority and power that maintain privileges and subordination among the members of a society. The disregard for or lack of awareness about human rights, gender equity, democracy and non-violent means of resolving problems help perpetuate these inequalities.

Victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence are at high risk of severe health and psycho-social problems, sometimes death, even in the absence of physical assault. The potential for debilitating long-term effects of emotional and physical trauma should never be underestimated.

Understanding the potential consequences of sexual and gender-based violence will help actors to develop appropriate strategies to respond to these after effects and prevent further harm.

Read: Traditional Form Of Discrimination

Sexual and gender-based violence violates human rights. UNHCR and States share the responsibility for ensuring that refugees and other displaced persons are protected. Preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence against refugees is thus part of the overall strategy to protect refugees.

A clear referral system should be established in each setting so the victim/survivor knows where to go to receive assistance and receives that assistance in a timely manner. This system, which should be developed by both humanitarian workers and members of the community, should be familiar to all members of the community and to all actors involved in providing services to victims/survivors. Inter-agency reporting and referral procedures should be written and translated into the appropriate local languages.

The term actors refer to individuals, groups, organisations and institutions involved in preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence. Actors may be refugees, local populations, employees or volunteers of UN agencies, NGOs, host government institutions, donors and other members of the international community.

There are serious and potentially life-threatening health outcomes with all types of sexual and gender-based violence. Some outcomes are fatal such as Homicide, Suicide, Maternal mortality, Infant mortality, AIDS-related mortality. Some acute physical problems such as injury, shock, disease, infection and some reproductive problems such as miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, HIV/AIDS, menstrual disorders, pregnancy complications, sexual disorders.

Most societies tend to blame the victim/survivor. This social rejection results in further emotional damage, including shame, self-hate and depression. As a result of the fear of social stigma, most victims/survivors never report the incident. Indeed, most incidents of sexual and gender-based violence go unreported.

If national laws do not provide adequate safeguards against sexual and gender-based violence, or if practices in the judicial and law enforcement bodies are discriminatory, this kind of violence can be perpetrated with impunity. Community attitudes of blaming the victim/survivor are often reflected in the courts. Many sexual and gender-based crimes are dismissed or guilty perpetrators are given light sentences. In some countries, the punishment meted out to perpetrators constitutes another violation of the victim’s/survivor’s rights and freedoms, such as in cases of forced marriage to the perpetrator. The emotional damage to victims/survivors is compounded by the implication that the perpetrator is not at fault.

The victim/survivor is insecure, threatened, afraid, unprotected and at risk of further violence. When dealing with incidents of trafficking in persons, police and security workers are at risk of retaliation. If police and security workers are not sensitive to the victim’s/survivor’s needs for immediate care, dignity and respect, further harm and trauma may result because of delayed assistance or insensitive behaviour.

Read: Prisoner’s Right In India

Perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence are sometimes the very people upon whom survivors depend to assist and protect them.

Sexual and gender-based violence occurs in all classes, cultures, religions, races, gender and ages. Interventions to prevent or respond to sexual and gender-based violence should target individuals, close relationships, the community and society, in general.

Understanding the causes of sexual and gender-based violence will help you to develop effective actions to prevent it; understanding the consequences of sexual and gender-based violence allows you to develop appropriate response packages for victims/survivors.

Gender inequality and discrimination are the root causes of sexual and gender-based violence.

Refugee children may find themselves at particular risk of sexual and gender-based violence given their level of dependence, their limited ability to protect themselves, and their limited power and participation in decision-making processes. Because they have had relatively little experience of life, children are also more easily exploited and coerced than adults. Depending on their level of development, they may not fully comprehend the sexual nature of certain behaviours, and they are unable to give informed consent. Additional ethnic, gender, cultural, economic and social factors may also increase refugee children’s risk of becoming victims of sexual and gender-based violence.

CONCLUSION

Many of the ideas that have shaped development thinking, such as dependency theory, sustainable development, human development, basic needs, inclusive growth, among others, originated in the UN. The development dialogue in the UN reflects a two-way relationship between country experiences and a global perspective on the forces shaping the world economy.

We need a genuine dialogue and engagement between countries, our efforts must begin here-in United Nations. We must reform the United Nations including the security council, and make it more democratic participative.

Every country should work upon their legal framework to protect the rights of the refugees residing in their country for the sake of survival and give them enough support to make them stand on their feet and do not discriminate them for their society and helping them living a peaceful life.

“Refugees have no choice. You do”

REFERENCES:

  1. org
  2. org
  3. Home, by Warsan Shire (British-Somali poet)
  4. Road-to-refuge.com.au
  5. org
  6. http://www.refworld.org/docid/50b899602.html
  7. http://www.refworld.org/docid/47dfc8e32.html
  8. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=3ae6b67f40
  9. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=3deb326b8
  10. Human Rights by H.O. Agarwal, 16th Edition (2016)

Aayushi Bana

Aayushi Bana, Content Writer, Law Corner Student of 7th Semester, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi

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