Please describe what is the protection of refugees.a)in general.b)in armed conflict situations.c)in natural disasters and climatic changes. Essay Example
A refuge is an individual who is outside his or her country because he or she has been forced to flee due to persecution, violence or war (Saulnier et al. 315). A refugee fear persecution due to his race, nationality, and religion and is unable to get sanctuary from his or her country of citizenship (Saulnier et al. 315). The fast growing number of refugees is a big problem the world is facing today. The issue of refugee is typically a global problem immediately affecting the developing countries. Therefore, industrialised countries should offer assistance by allowing higher immigration levels. The developed countries have the responsibility of helping the refugees since we are living in a global village and it is thus impossible to ignore what takes place in the other side of the world. It is the right of every individual to work, have family, participate in political issues, live and work. Most of the time, it happens that the refugees are not ready to leave their nations but are forced to since living there would be equal to death. We are living in a global community faced with turmoil, conflict, confusions and wars of all kinds. With such situations taking place, we are faced with refugee’s situation. Every refugee has a right to be protected (Gauci 211). A good number of countries have offered refugees a permanent settlement. By providing naturalization, permitting legal employment, and offering land in the asylum countries have offered long lasting protection that could not be assured in refugee’s origin countries. This paper will highlight the general protection of refugees and the laws that protect them in addition to providing additional information of refugee’s protection in armed conflict situations and natural disasters and climatic changes events.
General refugee protection
The government is responsible for providing basic human rights and protection for its citizens. Refugees fleeing away from their countries of origin are often very vulnerable. They lack protection from their own nations since it is their own government threatening to persecute them (Saulnier et al 317). Therefore, if other countries do not allow them in or protect and help them, then they may be bound to an intolerable situation where their security, lives and basic human rights are in danger. Refugee protection focuses on ensuring that the basic human rights of refugees in the country of asylum are met and that they would not be returned to their countries of origin involuntarily. In addition, the protection helps them achieve economic self-sufficiency after arriving to the country of asylum. Also, the refugees are offered legal and physical protection from violent threats such as sexual assault that has been reported to be one of the major problems refugees are faced with in their countries of asylum.
The refugees ought to be protected also by being given shelter, food and medical care immediately after any refugee exodus, taking into consideration the specific needs of the disabled, children and women (Gauci 210). In addition to being offered physical protection, the refugees should receive the same rights as other foreigners who are legal residents. Therefore, the refugees have the civil rights such as freedom of movement and thought and freedom from degrading treatment. Similarly, both social and economic rights highly apply to refugees the same way they apply to others. however, in certain situations, asylum countries may be obliged to restrict certain rights of the refugees such as freedom of movement, freedom of schooling to name a few. This occurs due to lack of enough resources to support a large-scale of refuges fleeing to the asylum countries.
In order for a state to protect the refugees, it is important to know who they are. Nation should be able to differentiate the people in need of protection from those seeking entry to its territory. As stated earlier, protecting refugees is the responsibility of states. Over the years, the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has worked together with state governments in refugee protection (Saulnier et al 333). State governments have generously offered asylum to large number of refugees and allowed them to live in a conducive environment. The governments have given authorisation for UNHCR to operate on their land and have given financial support to refugees through domestic refugee programs or funding UNHCR protection operations.
Refugee protection in armed conflict situations
Situation of violence such as armed conflict has been a fundamental reason for forced displacement of people across borders over the years. Conflicts occur due to ethnic, political and religious circumstances. These conflicts have attributed to the growing number of refugees laws in the mid-twentieth century. A number of recent conflicts that has occurred have led to mass exoduses initiated by the widespread violence together with political and economic reasons that is aimed at intimidating a particular group of people. Most of the time, violence and conflicts are deliberately aimed against citizens- sexual violence most of the times have been used as a weapon of violence and conflict. On the other hand, when refugees have moved to the asylum countries, they may be faced with conflict situations and hence would require some protections (Islam and Jahid 182). Refugee laws such as the 1951 Convection and United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees offer a fundamental protection for refugees. In addition, refugees are also protected by human right law and in an event where they find themselves in an asylum country faced with armed conflict; they are protected by the International Humanitarian Law.
In addition to being protected in an event of armed conflict by International Humanitarian Law, they also receive special protection from Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol 1. This law recognise their vulnerability as aliens in an event of a conflict. Violence situations such as armed conflicts cause challenge for interpretation and implementation of 1951 Convection Laws used as the core instrument for refugee protection. Refugees in armed conflicts situations are protected by principles of the International Humanitarian Law. The International Humanitarian Law applies to civilian refugees (Saulnier et al 315). Refugees are protected from armed conflicts as it is prohibited to launch attacks against any civilian and therefore, distinction should be set at all circumstances between individual taking part in armed conflicts and the civilian refugees. It is observed that violence situations such as armed conflicts continue to affect humanity; the widespread armed conflicts such as torture, killings and inhuman treatment has eroded human rights. Therefore, even at times of armed conflict humanitarian principles must prevail (Islam and Jahid 188).
This is to mean that the human rights of civilian refugees should be protected even in armed conflict situations. According to the humanitarian principle, places designated for protection of refugees should not be subjected to military operations and the civilian refugees should not be object of forcible transfers and assaults of their integrity. In addition, children, disabled and women refugees are protected in armed conflict situations (Gauci 210). Generally, states are called to offer protection to the most vulnerable group among refugees who are at high risk of being subjected to sexual violence and abuse and exposed to risks such as forcible recruitment of children. Attacks and bombing causing suffering to disabled, children and women is prohibited and is highly condemned (Islam and Jahid 183). In addition, in an event of armed conflict, refugees are protected from being used as human shields or political pawns. Also, the International Humanitarian Law supports the provision of relief to the refugees in situations of armed conflicts (Saulnier et al 322). The refugees must thus receive supply of relief in form of tents, food, water, medicines and blankets. States are also called to respect the principle of humanity in an event of armed conflict affecting the refugees. It is only through respect of the set laws that refuges can be protected from the armed conflicts. If individuals have to leave their homes for fear of prosecution just as the refugees have, then they can only be properly protected from internal armed conflict if International Humanitarian Law is complied with (Saulnier et al 322).
Refugee protection in natural disasters and climatic changes
A good number of issues have far-reaching implications such as climate change and natural disaster affecting many people around the world. The environment is an essential component for the survival of people. Environment is the source of food, shelter, agriculture, warmth and other income-generated activities. Climate change has become a fundamental concern in many counters. Climate change may force people into poverty and displacement rendering humanitarian needs more complex. Refugees often flee from their countries of origins due to many factors such as fear of protection (Saulier et al. 315). They end up moving to states seeking protection and help. In some situation, refugees in the asylum countries may be faced with many problems such as natural disasters and climatic changes. Therefore, refugees should be protected from such situations. Refugees do not lose their basic human rights in an event of natural disaster and climatic changes. Even in the worst natural disaster situation, refugees are entitled to their basic rights though they may have additional needs related to the natural disaster and climatic condition (Humphreys 194).
However, in an even of climatic change or natural disaster, it becomes difficult to simultaneously offer all rights to refugees affected by the disaster. Rights based on physical security and basic necessities are the most relevant in the course of emergency (Humphreys 194). In the initial physical disaster response, refugees should receive adequate access to food and water. Disaster-preparedness plans protecting the most vulnerable refugees ensure there is no discrimination and that their rights are met as desired. In addition, in situation where the natural disaster is intense, evacuations and relocations of refugees is necessary in a way that family separation and physical uncertainty are addressed. Inclusion of protection approach is necessary since provision of assistance is not a neutral activity that is affecting individuals equally. The way assistance is offered has an effect on people with vulnerabilities. Therefore, outreach and assistance to older persons, children, disabled and women is essential (Gauci, 210). Participatory assessment in terms of age, diversity and gender among the refugees is important in provision of support for the refugees.
In conclusion, refugees are people who have fled out of their countries of citizenship due to fear of persecution brought about by factors such as ethnicity, religion, nationality and race. Protecting refugees is termed as the responsibilities of states. As refugees continue to flee to asylum countries from threats seeking for freedom, states are faced with challenges of reconciling the refugees’ humanitarian responsibilities and obligations. Protection of refugees is concerned with maintaining camaraderie with the most threatened group of people. The refugees ought to be protected also by being given shelter, food and medical care immediately after any refugee exodus, taking into consideration the specific needs of the disabled, children and women. In addition, Refugees in armed conflicts situations are protected by principles of the International Humanitarian Law. Similarly, they receive special protection from Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol 1. When refugees are faced with natural disasters and climatic changes, their basic human rights need to be protected in addition to receiving disaster relief such as blankets, food, water and shelter.
Gauci, Mariagiulia Giuffré, and Evangelia Tsourdi. Exploring the boundaries of refugee law : current protection challenges. Leiden Boston: Brill Nijhoff, 2015. Print.
Humphreys, Stephen. Human rights and climate change. Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
Islam, M R., and Jahid H. Bhuiyan. An introduction to international refugee law. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2013. Print.
Saulnier, Françoise, Laura Brav, and Clémentine Olivier. The practical guide to humanitarian law. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print.
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