Chin Refugee Committee Delhi

Advocacy and help for Chin refugees in Delhi

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:

1. Security Issue:

Security issue always been the first and foremost important issue in refugee and asylum seekers life in everywhere, because of this security issue people fled to some place to seek peace. According to the UNHCR newsletter on March, 2010, there are about 7,600 Burmese refugees and asylum seekers were here in New Delhi. All of the above people seek for peace and security under the protection of UNHCR as well as to the Indian Government. But due to lack of necessary documents we are unable to approach the Indian Government directly to seek their support and assistances. So, the UNHCR is our only guardian that we rely on our security issues.

However, the recent security cases such as, rape, assaults, robbery, molestation, sexual abuses etc shows that we are in unsafe. Since the beginning of 2010, we have witnessed several assault and and sexual violence cases. The Chin refugees had been residing in New Delhi under the mandate of the UNHCR for many years now and we have been suffering lots of security problems. However, the security is becoming worse in the recent time. Among many cases registered at the office of the CRC, today we highlight to you the following cases;

1)      February, 2010 at Hastsal: A twelve years old Chin refugee boy was sodomized by four local young men. The UNHCR also got information through SLIC and the SLIC workers also went there and saw the culprits but no further action was taken. At the end of April with the help of The Other Media (TOM) we followed up the case made complaint to the Uttam Nagar Police station and the culprits were arrested.  The boy seriously suffered physically and mentally traumatized. As a consequence, the boy kept to himself. He felt ashamed to see his friends and he stays alone. Regarding this case the UNHCR was silently watching the situation, no proper legal assistance or no financial aid was provided. We believe that this victim deserves the utmost attention of the UNHCR and what do the UNHCR plans to do for him?

2)      21st February 2010: Mr Kyaw Kyaw (09C01129), who was working at the Nigerian Embassy as a security had been attacked by many local people while going for his work. He was severely wounded in his eye, ear and face etc. He approached YMCA but he was not given proper support or any medication. CRC intervenes and provide assistance for his treatment and finally we got an NGO (Austrian Burma Center, Pires Margot) to help him. For his medication/ treatment around Rs. 30,000 had been spent but unfortunately his eye was so damaged that he has now becoming blind. In this case, if the YMCA had given assistance on time, he would not have been blind now.

3)      29th March 2010: Ms. Sui Tin Tlem (10C00340), mother of two children was nearly became the victim of gang rape by four local people at Chanakya place. She sustained serious injuries on her face in her desperate attempt to escape. Her medication arrangement was made by the CRC at DDU hospital.  The complaint also lodges to the police but no proper action was taken yet.

4)      19th April 2010 at Jeewan Park, Uttam Nagar: Mr Moses Han Sein (02IND0767) was brutally beaten up and robbed by the local people. He has no shelter and used to sleep in the parks and railway stations. The CRC arranged for his temporary shelter but unable to continue due to limited financial situation and other difficulties.

5)      21st April, 2010 at Sitapuri: Mr. Zo Ram Thang (BU-491), father of three minor children was attacked by unknown people from behind. He got severe injuries on his skull. CRC brought him to DDU hospital for his medication and also submitted complaint to the police. No legal action was taken until today.

6)      23rd April, 2010 at Mahindra Park, Uttam Nagar: Three Chin refugees Mr. Fung Ling (08IND01388), Mr. Than Sang (08IND01410) and Mr. Van Lal Lian (08IND00279) were attacked by two bikers. Mr. Fung Ling suffered serious injuries on his skull and got treatment at DDU hospital accompanied by the CRC. The attacker’s vehicle number (HR99 DZTP 3265) also identified and filed FIR to the Bindapur Police station. Mr. Van Lal Lian’s mobile was taken away by this criminal.  But until today the culprits were not arrested. (Please see the attachment of the FIR)

7)      4th May, 2010 at Chanakya Place, Uttam Nagar: Mr. Mi Tin Chawn (09C00252) was attacked by unidentified three local men. We submitted the complaint to the Bindapur Police station.  No action by the police was seen until today. (Please see attachment of the complaint).

8)      4th May, 2010 at Hastsal: Mr. Cing Do Lian (08IND01470) beaten by the local men in Hatstal.

9)      10th May, 2010 at Sitapuri: Mrs. Lal Min Thang (09C01380) having three children was badly beaten by the landlord and thrown them out from home unconditionally. This family does not have any place to stay. They are temporarily staying at the church of Delhi Matu Christian Fellowship (DMCF). This case was also reported to both SLIC and police. But solution was not seen.

Besides the above mentioned cases, there are so many unregistered cases, such as; sexual violence, robberies and assault cases which occurred in the areas where refugees are residing.

Among the above mentioned victims, some of them got medical and legal assistances from SLIC or YMCA.  But more than half of the victims did not get any medical or legal assistance at all. Some victims got response from UNHCR by rescheduling of their RSD interview or issuing blue certificate or continuing the subsistence allowance but some victims remain unresponsive.

The recent incidents showed that the security situation of the refugees become more vulnerable.  To deal with this situation we send email to friends and discuss with them.

The Other Media (TOM) with some concerned individuals met with the District Commissioner of Police (DCP) of West Delhi on 27th April and submitted a memorandum to him.  As a follow up to that, CRC and other organizations like Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), Burmese Woman Delhi (BWD), Kachin Refugee Committee (KRC) accompanied by friends from The Other Media (TOM), Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) and few individuals have met the different Station House Officers (SHO) in different police stations: Bindapur, Dabri (Sitapuri), Uttam Nagar, Asalatpur (District Centre) and Vikaspuri asking for their support and help. From our side, we tried and are still trying all possible steps to reduce the crime. Despite of trying to reduce the problems, it’s still continuing until today.  Today, we would like to put across the following questions to you:

1)      What kind of assistance was provided to the 12 years old boy, who got sodomized or what kind of assistance will be going to provide to this victim family?

2)      By the help of international NGO through the CRC Mr. Kyaw Kyaw got treatment for his eye. Why the YMCA did deny him and no assistance at all for him? Now, unfortunately he got blind and what kind of assistance will be provided to him by the UNHCR?

3)      Moses Han Sein has no shelter. Can the UNHCR provide a shelter for him?

4)      Other victims in recent assault like Mr. Fung Ling, Mr. Than Sang, Mr. Van Lal Lian, Mi Tin Chawn, Cing Do Lian and Mrs. Lal Min Thang were not yet given any assistance. Will the UNHCR provide the necessary assistance according to their family situation?

5)      Our recent activities of counseling to our people and visiting several police stations seem helpless. So, what is the plan of the UNHCR to rebuild the security situation?

2. Financial assistance for targeted refugees:

Regarding this issue, we have raised on March meeting and the letter sent to CRC by your office on 12 May, 2010 said that financial assistance was provided to the most difficult refugees including from the list sent by the CRC in March. We do so much appreciated the response by the Chief of Mission that some targeted refugees got financial assistance. However, there are still the most difficult refugees including from the list sent by CRC on March.  We hope and believe that the UNHCR will never want to see these people on the street without shelter or foods. Therefore, we are making a list of a few people and asking for your urgent attention to these people. (Please see attachment)

3. YMCA’s role or Subsistence allowance delay:

This issue had been raised since September, 2009 at every meeting with the UNHCR but continuously delaying until today. Did the UNHCR or the YMCA ever realize that how many refugee families were badly affected by this SA delay? Hundreds of refugee families got problems with the landlord due to failing to pay their room rent in the due date.

Regarding the role of your implementing partners like SLIC, Don Bosco and YMCA, almost all the Chin refugees are deeply dissatisfied with their services specially YMCA.  In spite of several complaints and request, they did not change their attitude and behavior towards the refugees specially the coordinator. We feel that the Coordinator of YMCA did not care for the difficulties of the refugees. She is not fit to be sitting at that desk any longer. If the UNHCR really want to make a genuine solution to our problems, she must be replaced. We strongly demand for her replacement.

4. RSD interview:

Delay of RSD interview is still the major issue of the asylum seekers and almost thousand of applicants faced this problem. Recently some applicant’s interview date was rescheduled and we appreciated so much for this development. However, more applicants were hopefully waiting for their time and we again request for your intervention to speedy up the process.

5. Education:

Recently the UNHCR mainly focus on education, it largely open the door for free education for refugee children through YMCA schools and government schools. We do appreciate the UNHCR policy of educational development but still complaint from the parents that they required proper syllabus for YMCA sponsored schools. Besides, those whose children were referred to the government schools complaint that they withdrew their children due to too many discrimination and children refused to go to government school. Therefore, we request the UNHCR to make the syllabus and qualified teachers available (the same syllabus at government school) at the YMCA so that all the refugee children should go to YMCA school to avoid discrimination by the local children.

6. Health care:

We appreciated the recent developments made by the UNHCR on this issue by providing the health care services even to the temporary card holders. But many patients or victims of the recent incident could not properly benefit the services due to the inefficiency of YMCA staff. Many patients were not properly accompanied to the hospital, slow process of reimbursement, insufficient transportation for the patients. Previously the YMCA’s ambulance services were available through Monday to Friday but recently it reduced to three days only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is unacceptable as people cannot help falling sick on other days. Even if the UNHCR policy is perfect for the refugee, it could not have many advantages unless the responsible persons did not carry out properly and meaningfully. So, we need the complete change or strengthening of the role of YMCA starting from the coordinator.

7. Private/ family sponsor;

On 18 November, 2009 meeting the UNHCR said that the quota for resettlement are very minimal, out of the total number of refugees only 1% will be resettled. So, the office suggested seeking sponsor from families who had resettled to third countries. According to the UNHCR suggestion some families were sponsored by their family members or relatives from third countries and many applications were going on to different embassies. Regarding this case, did the UNHCR provide any help by referring their cases to the concern embassy for processing or what kind of assistance or service can be provided to these applicants?

Lastly, we would like to thank you and your officers for given us your precious time to share our concerns. We hope that this meeting brings some positive development and create effective and better understanding and cooperation between the CRC and UNHCR in the future.

Sincerely,

Chin Refugee Committee

New Delhi

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