Chin Refugee Committee Delhi

Advocacy and help for Chin refugees in Delhi

Archive for May, 2010

Minutes of Meeting on 14th May, 2010

Posted by Chris on May 27, 2010

Dear Mr. Ro Mawi,

Thank you very much for the very useful meeting we had with you and some other members of the Chin Refugee Committee (CRC) on 14 May 2010. Following is a summary of the issues discussed:

1. Increase in security incidents: UNHCR is grateful for CRC’s reports on the increasing frequency of such incidents against refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar. UNHCR appreciates CRC’s commitment to the community including its visits to police stations and follow-up on cases.  UNHCR has been engaged for a long time in sensitizing police in localities where refugees and asylum-seekers live as well as at a higher level and in ensuring appropriate responses to reported cases.  UNHCR will continue its activities and wherever possible will step them up. It should be clear though that UNHCR does not have the authority to ensure the arrest of perpetrators.
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Meeting with the UNHCR officers on 14th May, 2010

Posted by crcnewdelhi on May 27, 2010

The Chief of Mission

UNHCR New Delhi

14, Jor Bagh, New Delhi

Respected Madam,

We express our deep gratitude for giving us this opportunity to share about our situation and the issues affecting the Chin refugee community in Delhi.

We deeply acknowledged the concern by your office and the assistance to the refugees and asylum seekers in the past.

Today meeting we will like to draw your kind attention to the following issues:

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Response by Indian NGOs and Burmese Refugee Organisations to the increase in violence against Burmese Refugees in New Delhi

Posted by crcnewdelhi on May 20, 2010

Recently a lot of national and international outrage has been expressed over the violent crimes against Burmese refugees living west Delhi slums and villages over the past three months. While there is no doubt that this is an overall increase in crime in these areas, due to  lack of knowledge of local languages, refugee status in the country and dire economic status, the Burmese refugee community is being viewed as a particularly vulnerable target for criminals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Accident (Hit and run) case

Posted by crcnewdelhi on May 20, 2010

Almost every day serious cases such as assaults, sexual violence and robs, etc are continuously happened to the Burmese (Chin) refugees and asylum seekers. It showed that the security situations of Burmese refugees are more vulnerable and the recent activity of visiting several police stations seems unhelpful.

On 19th May, 2010, a Chin asylum seeker Mrs. Tluang nei Thang (10C00907) having wife and one minor child working at a small leather industry at Sargarpur, New Harinagar was badly hit by a scooter on his way back to home at about 8 pm. He was unconsciously felt down on the ground for one hour and he got injuries on his head, back and severe pain on the whole body. His cycle was totally damaged. When he became conscious many local people gathered and surrounded him but unfortunately those people did not stop the assailant.  The scooter registration number was identified by one of the local men as DL-4S-471.  As soon as we got the news we reported the incident to the Socio and Legal Information Center (SLIC) one of the UNHCR implementing partners, requesting them to take the necessary action.

This family came to New Delhi on 7th April, 2010 to seek protection from the UNHCR and they are waiting for the refugee status determination interview to be held on 9th July, 2010. Mrs. Tluang Nei Thang has start working in that small industry only since the past one week and now the family got serious problem and they did not even have the cost of medication and they are in very difficult situation.

In the recent many cases almost all cases were reported to the concerned police stations by submitting complaint or lodging First Information Report (FIR) but not even a single legal action was taken until today. We need and ask more help and support of the concerned authorities, NGO’s and international organizations or communities.

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Minor Refugee got Sodomized

Posted by crcnewdelhi on May 19, 2010

On 25/02/2010 a 12 year-old Burmese boy from the Chin ethnic group was sexually assaulted by four Indian males in an urban village of west Delhi. Three of the assailants are minors themselves (between the ages of 12 and 16 years) while the fourth is 19 years-old.

The assailants were neighbors of the victim and he had seen them around in the neighborhood for quite some time before the incident took place. On the day of the incident, the victim and his friend were playing when they were asked to clean a drain for an Indian male and that they would be paid for the labor. While waiting for the said man, one of the four assailants grabbed the child from behind and dragged him into an empty shop space nearby. The victim’s friend managed to escape and fled the scene.

The child was sodomized by one of the assailants and another tried to force intercourse and oral sex but failed. The victim managed to escape from the scene and ran away.

Ashamed of what had happened to him, the child did not inform anyone of the incident. However, a few weeks later, the news of the incident had spread through the Burmese refugee community and the victim’s family came to know of what had happened through other sources.

As the assailants were well-known locals in the area and lived nearby, the victim and his family feared retaliation and backlash from the assailants or their friends and were therefore reluctant to go to the police. Furthermore, as the family were anxious about their refugee status in India and were already facing great social embarrassment and scrutiny, they kept silent about the incident for months.

However, with the help of local NGOs and active members of the Burmese refugee community, the family agreed to go to the police and seek justice for their son. In May 2010, the family formally filed an FIR in the concerned police station. The child identified the assailants and the scene of the crime to the police and all four were arrested and presented before the court or Juvenile board.

Having been the victim of such a heinous crime and yet having to live in such close proximity to the criminals who had not been reprimanded for their heinous crime, the child and his family have undergone severe psychological trauma. However, since the filing of the case, the family was assisted in moving to alternative accommodation for their security and the punishment of the assailants has brought them relief and closure.

This relief however, may only be temporary as this case is one of an increasing number of cruel crimes of sexual violence, racial discrimination and physical assault against Burmese refugees living and working in west Delhi. While this may undoubtedly be a general increase in crime in the area for all, Burmese refugees, due to language barriers, uncertain legal status in the country and low economic status are being viewed as particularly soft targets.

The child and his family are recognized as refugees by the UNHCR and have sought asylum in India for a number of years. In this time they have and continue to live in dire poverty without access to medical, educational and other such facilities. Without the legal right to work in India due to their refugee status, there is little doubt that the standard of living will not improve for this family. Now that they have taken concrete steps to close this most traumatic chapter of their lives, they are forced once again to return to the nightmare of living in exile.

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