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Reaffirming the Declaration of Refugee Rights

On the international Day of Refugees

20th of June has been chosen by the UN since 1951 as the International day of refugees.

This year, as we commemorate this event, the world witnesses the various atrocities from which people are fleeing and end up being refugees. War, lack of security, militarised states, terrorism, racism, rise of nationalism, suspensions, destructions, poverty and homelessness are all factors forcing millions of people in different countries to leave their homes and seek refuge. The imperialist powers are trying to re-divide the world and expand their territorial-political influences for which they are ready to unleash atomic war and endanger the overall humanity and this era of civilization. 

Sixty eight years since the 1951 Refugee Convention was passed by the UN; the countries which signed the Convention, have not only retreated from it and stopped giving those people who are fleeing persecution refuge, but  they also  see the security state of the refugees; home countries as the precondition to give the refugees protection rights. Nevertheless, closing the borders; turning a blind eye at the mass deaths of refugees; cutting services; separating children from their parents; keeping people for a long time in refugee camps and isolating the displaced people has spread many psychological disorders, suicides, under age marriage of children, violence against women and forced deportations of the refugees to the countries they have fled from. Even if those countries, under international pressure, offer the refugees asylum, the right wings of the European governments not only try to blame the refugees for being responsible for the economic crisis, but have promoted nationalism and racism. These governments have created conditions in which fascism and the right parties are strengthening and as a result are spreading hatred, fundamentalist ideology, religious backwardness, violence and the rebirth of ultraconservative norms which pose a threat to European societies. These parties and governments are attacking the working classes and jeopardizing civil rights and values. They want to reduce the social welfare, force hard-working conditions and prepare to implement political and economy measures of the right and new liberal parties by which the ant migrant tendencies will be promoted.

The events of today’s World, war in Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq, and the military maneuvers processed in the Middle East and escalating the militarization of the area by the USA due to the rising conflicts with Iran are destabilizing the security of the area which results in more people seeking refuge. This shows the very outcome of the USA and the European countries policy of war and they have themselves posed the dehumanizing identity of refugee onto these people fleeing from war and injustices. The world doesn’t need such terms, unless it is in favour of capitalism.

Therefore, it has been the struggle and duty of each and every freedom loving person to fight for a world, in which people who flee war, poverty and all other types of atrocities can benefit from a safe and secure life, right of settlement and fair living standards. 

On the  international day of refugees the IFIR puts forward again its own convention which was voted for at the IFIR Congress in Sweden in August 2007.The convention  is a significant document to protect the rights of refugees and strengthen the straggle for obtaining equal rights for citizen ;freedom of movement and choosing living and work place. The human -made borders must be upheld and everyone should have a chance of a prosper life.

We ask, that you support us in our mission to realize these aims for solving the issues of refugees.

Definition of a Refugee

A refugee is anyone who seeks refuge in another country for a safer and freer life as a result of political, social, or economic pressures. While the causes of flight are numerous, reasons are similar in nature and indicative of despotic economic and social systems and regimes. Consequently, anyone who flees war, violence, discrimination, despotism, and the domination of repressive religious, nationalistic and rights violating states or groups – whether state or non-state – must be granted refugee status.

General Principles

1. Anyone who faces state or non-state discrimination, harassment, persecution, violence, intimidation, abuse, and rights violations because of race, ethnicity, sexuality, sex, religion, or political, social, and economic reasons must be granted refugee status.

2. No government has the right to close its borders to asylum seekers.

3. Children who flee under any circumstance either with or without their parents must be immediately granted refugee status. In addition children asylum seekers should be cared for by the state and given free housing, education, health care, sports and recreation equivalent to those provided to citizens of the country they are applying for asylum within.  These rights should not be deferred or conditional upon the granting of refugee status.

4. Women who face; psychological; physical; cultural especially those under threat of ‘honour’ killing or other violence and harassment from misogynist and reactionary states and non-state groups; laws; customs and traditions must be granted refugee status.

5. In countries where military ‘service’ is compulsory and refusal to serve can lead to imprisonment.  Any person refusing to take part in military service must be granted refugee status.

6. The criteria for breaking the laws of the country of origin is not determined solely by transgressions of discriminatory, misogynist, religious, and anti-children laws. Political, cultural and union activities cannot be deemed crimes under any circumstances. Universal rights laws in existence in the most advanced Western European countries must be the criteria used.

7. Anyone who may face detention, arrest or persecution if returned to her/his country of origin because of choices within her/his private life or if an asylum seeker joins a political party and takes part in political activities that would endanger them if returned to their home country must be granted refugee status.

8. War criminals, heads of states and those who have committed atrocities and murders must not be deported to their countries of origin as long as execution and torture exist. However, they must be tried and sentenced in accordance with the laws of a country where execution and torture have been abolished.

9. All women and girls and children under the age of 18 who have fled Islamic societies must be unconditionally granted refugee status.

10. Lack of identification or evidentiary documentation and or even use of fraudulent and illegal documentation by asylum seekers should not be classed as a crime and must not have an adverse effect on the granting of refugee status.  Furthermore, having a passport and legally exiting country of origin cannot prevent someone from being granted refugee status.

11. Every asylum seeker has the right to have her/his claim reviewed in the country in which s/he has applied for refugee status. Passing through other countries cannot prevent the granting of refugee status in the country in which the claimant has applied for refugee status.  Choosing one’s city and place of residence is the right of all asylum seekers and must not be violated.

12. All asylum seekers must have the right to fair determination procedures.  All asylum seekers must be granted free legal services namely attorneys and interpreters, and must be given access to comprehensive information on the determination procedures. Entitlement to existing social and welfare rights, including the right to work, education, health care, and unemployment is part of the basic rights of every asylum seeker.

13. No asylum seeker can be prosecuted or imprisoned for being an asylum seeker and or entering without proper or legal documentation. If an asylum seeker commits a criminal offence in the country where s/he has applied for asylum, s/he must be tried in accordance with the laws of that country in that country.

14. All refugees have the right to family reunification.  The refugee’s family has the right to obtain refugee status.

15. Former political prisoners and persons who have been tortured must be granted refugee status without taking into consideration whether they have a fear of persecution at the time when they applied for asylum. A certification letter from a political opposition party or group must be considered adequate by the determining authorities in granting refugee status. In cases when the asylum seeker is unable to obtain a certification letter from the organisation or party s/he was active with in the past because of political differences, a certification letter from other opposition parties or organisations must be accepted by the determining authorities.

16. No asylum seeker can be detained or deported under any circumstances.

17. Freedom of speech, assembly and organisation and political and social activities equivalent to standards in the country of asylum for citizens must be granted all asylum seekers. Governments are duty-bound to protect the security of activists from any form of terrorist or racist attack.

18. All state or non-state racist and xenophobic propaganda against refugees and asylum seekers must be prohibited.

19. Governments must provide the necessary resources in a systematic and planned manner in order to expedite the assimilation of refugees and asylum seekers in society and ensure individual and social rights equal to citizens for asylum seekers and refugees.  Refugees and asylum seekers must not be segregated and isolated from society and progressive culture under the name of cultural relativism based on nationality, culture and religion. The creation of ghettos for refugees and asylum seekers must be prohibited as must implementing a culturally relativist policy towards asylum seekers and refugees.

20. All asylum seekers must have the right to access to all facilities such as: education and health.

21. Religion should not be imposed and physical violence is prohibited in imposing of any kinds of religions. Children should not be taught religion at school and state funding to religious centres under the justification of cultural relativism should be stopped.

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees asks all freedom loving people, human rights organisations, political parties, labour organisations and those supporting refugee rights to play a more effective role in the struggle for securing these rights by reiterating and actively defending the above demands and helping the Federation in their struggle for refugee rights.

International Federation of Iraqi Refugees/IFIR


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