UNHCR’S RESETTLEMENT POLICIES FOR IRANIAN REFUGEES IN TURKEY HAVE TO BE REVISED
This petition had 502 supporters
Turkey is currently home to more than 20.000 Iranian refugees awaiting resettlement in a third country, 3000 of them live in Kayseri, the capital of Cappadocia. Most of them have been political prisoners, others are Iranian civil activists refugees, LGBT and religious refugees and many of them have suffered severely in Iran’s jails.
After arriving in Turkey they have to live in poverty, have no right to healthcare, have no financial assistance, have no right to work officially and no medical insurance. Registration time, interview appointments and acceptance as political refugee by the UNHCR take much too long, sometimes years and lately interview appointments are even cancelled without any explanation by the UNHCR staff. All these issues provide many problems for refugees and asylum seekers.
Being not allowed to work, many refugees are forced to accept illegal jobs. Some employers misuse their unprotected situation and let people work for 10 to 15 hours. Sometimes these refugees don’t even get paid – but how are the families or individuals supposed to pay for rent, food, transportation and medicine? It is also known that sometimes female asylum seekers are sexually abused or raped. Complaining or reporting one of these issues would inevitably result in having to pay a fine.
A further problem for families with children is the lack of any educational services. Children are forced to stay at home and miss education at an age when they need it most.
The situation of Iranian refugees has reached an unbearable level. As a result of their inhuman situation there have already been protests, sit-ins in front of the UNHCR in Ankara and even hungerstrikes. But not only the officials didn’t care to solve the problems – quite on the contrary the protesting refugees have been exiled to cities far away from the capital.
We demand that the cases are handeled immediately
We demand official and legal work permission
We demand transfer permission in Turkey
We demand financial assistance
We demand healthcare
We demand access to educational institutions for the children
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