lunedì 10 gennaio 2011

The asylum system in Israel

1/ in the past 20 years, only about 160 were recognized as refugees in Israel. Israel does not have a refugee law and hardly respect the Geneva convention laws even though it is signed on it. the Eritreans that are here in Israel are not recognized as refugees, they receive a status of group protection according to a recommendation from the UNHCR. 2/ there are about 18,000-20,000 Eritrean refugees in Israel. 3/ there is no refugee camps in Israel. when you speak to people and they tell you that they are in a camp, it is actually the prison they are in. they call it "camp" because it is in the desert and people sleep in tenets. but do not make any mistake it is a prison or the way the Israeli government refers to it as a "detention center". once again, there are no refugee camps in Israel. the only people that are allowed in the prison are the UNHCR people and the group i volunteer with "The Hotline". 4/ the asylum system is Israel works as such -for non Eritrean / Sudanese that are currently receiving group protection and it is enough to be identified as an Eritrean or Sudanese to be released of prison. for the rest it is a very long process that can take several months- to one or 2 years until your request is processed by the R.S.D unit which is a governmental unit of the ministry of interior that will decide if you are asylum seeker. about 99.9 percent of requests will be rejected. so, once again, the asylum requests are not reviewd by UNHCR or any NGO but by the government. until one and a half years ago the UNHCR were dealing with it but then they gave the power to the government.

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