Basic Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Human rightsRefugees and asylum seekers are people who seek protection and residence outside their country because of fear of persecution in their own country. Such fear may be because of their political, social, religious, gender and nationality standings.  Refugees may flee from their country because of wars ignited by political and religious differences.  Do they have rights in the counties they reside in? Should they enjoy the same rights as other citizens?

Refugees have rights.  There are bodies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that ensure governments take care of refugees, and most importantly, they do not close their doors to those seeking asylum.  Everyone should be aware of refugee rights to avoid violating them and also to protect the refugees from those who may want to discriminate on them. What are the rights of refugees?

The Right to Protection

This is a fundamental right for every refugee and asylum seeker. Protection does not only involve a safe shelter but not being forced back to the mother country especially when the refugee faces the same challenges. Governments should also go a step further to ensure refugees enjoy the same protection as other legal migrants and do not get discriminated.

Right to Basic Necessities

Every refugee should have food, shelter, clothing, and education for school going, children. Refugees also have the right to have their immediate family members, that is the spouse and children join them and access to quality and timely medical care.

The Right to Life and Liberty

A refugee should not be constrained in one place but they have a right to expression, liberty, thinking, and freedom from any dehumanizing acts. They also have a right to work and enjoy social amenities just like other citizens.

 Right to Justice

HumanA refugee has the right to justice from the entire law system in the country of residence. When an injustice is committed against a refugee, the police should investigate and carry out the required measures and give the incidence the attention it deserves. A refugee has the right to complain of an injustice by law enforcers, the justice system, other asylum seekers and citizens of the country he is residing in and have the complaints investigated.

Right to a Fast Integration Process

Refugees are first given asylum in a camp before the asylum government checks and decides whether they qualify to be given asylum. Although there is no stipulated timeframe, refugees should not be kept in the detention camps for long periods. Governments are urged to speed up the investigation process that gives applicants the right to become refugees and start a new life. When the claims are investigated and revoked, an applicant has the right to return to their own country on their own or have the government make the necessary travel arrangements.

It is not only the governments’ duty to ensure refugees’ rights are upheld but all citizens should respect and protect asylum seekers.   Bodies such as the UNHCR and other independent bodies in the country of refuge and globally ensure that this happens because human rights belong to everyone including refugees and asylum seekers.

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