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Stories from Young Refugees

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1 Stories from Young Refugees
Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre Hopes and Dreams Stories from Young Refugees

2 About Us Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre

3 Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
Things we do: Education: civil liberties and human rights presentations. Human Rights Education Project speakers, materials, in-services and teacher support. Research: contemporary civil liberties and human rights issues concerning Albertans. Providing Information to the Public Research and Education - Not Advocacy

4 Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre
Some of our publications: Sexual Harassment in School Discrimination, Human Rights and You Freedom to Be: Understanding LGBT Youth Freedom of Expression and All that Jazz The Rights Angle: Human Rights Using the Newspaper

5 Hopes and Dreams: Stories from Young Refugees
Teacher and Student Materials Video

6 Table of Contents Hopes and Dreams Who are Refugees?
Why Refugees Leave Life in a Refugee Camp Laws Governing and Protecting Refugees Settling in Canada

7 Teacher Materials Hopes and Dreams Activity Sheets Handouts
Teacher Resources Legislation Alberta Curriculum Summary Resources

8 UNHCR Lego Campaign

9 80% are women and children
Who are Refugees? Just like you and I 21.8 million refugees 50% are children 80% are women and children Refugees are individual people with individual likes, dislikes, hopes and dreams just like each one of us. People who have become refugees were at one time living very normal lives in their home countries. They had had a home, families, and went to work or school every day. Many are women and children – this is partly because women have a more difficult time leaving a country than men; some have to get permission which can be difficult without an accompanying male.

10 Definition of Refugee A person who has “a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…” Refugee Convention / Immigration Act Well founded fear of persecution (race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group or political opinion) Outside his country of nationality Because of this fear is unable or unwilling to get protection from his country of origin Well founded well founded means that there is a subjective element – ie in the mind of the person there is fear that they will be harmed and also an objective element – ie there is evidence showing a valid basis for that fear

11 Refugees and Immigrants
Immigrants mostly choose to leave country Immigrants have job qualifications, family members in Canada or money to invest Refugees leave out of necessity Refugees do not choose where to go and often lose family members along the way Refugees come from a range of experiences, nationalities, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds Difficult to group refugees together because they don’t have a common experience except looking for a safe haven.

12 Why Refugees Leave Political and social context
War, ethnic cleansing, genocide Torture Political upheaval Gender persecution Religious persecution Persecution based on sexual orientation

13 The Refugee Convention
After World War II many refugees United Nations devised the Convention Relating to the status of Refugees in 1951 Spells out a set of basic human rights for refugees Recognizes need for international cooperation and shared responsibility Commonly called the Refugee Convention. It and its 1967 protocol have been signed by 140 countries.

14 The Refugee Convention
Creates an international duty to offer asylum to refugees Canada was not always receptive to refugees After WWII Canada had one of the worst records of Jewish refugee resettlement in the world. Between 1933 and 1939, Canada accepted only 4000 of the 800,000 Jews who had escaped from Nazi controlled Europe.

15 How many refugees Estimated 17 million refugees in the world
17 million includes those who are seeking asylum, those who have returned to their country of origin, internally displaced persons and stateless persons A young Congolese man happy to be back in his home village after repatriation from Tanzania. UNHCR is seeking funds for its DRC repatriation and reintegration programmes this year. © UNHCR/S.Schulman

16 How many refugees To uphold its obligations Canada took in 23,000 to 30,400 refugees in 2002 Canada came in 11th, internationally, in terms of money contributed to refugee-aid Canada contributes 42 million; US contributed 570 million and came in number one in contributions. However on a per capita basis: Norway, Sweden and Denmark surpass the US and Canada for monetary contributions. (Canada US contribute $2 per capita or less, while Norway contributes $16 per capita) internally displaced means that they are not formally recognized as refugees and live in legal limbo (do not have the means to leave their own country and so are not recognized as refugees)

17 Life in a Refugee Camp Refugees flee to neighbouring countries, often developing nations Means the world’s poorest countries are harbouring refugees Sudan: Aicha, a displaced woman in Ryad camp, uses a fuel-efficient stove at the UNHCR centre for women. She was trained by UNHCR and now trains other women on how to use fuel-efficient stoves. The stoves, made of donkey dung, mud and water, use up to 60 per cent less firewood than traditional methods. The need to reduce firewood collection is particularly important as many women have been attacked and raped on their way to collect wood. UNHCR / H. Caux

18 Life in a Refugee Camp Government often puts refugees in a camp Camp life often has authoritarian administration Restricted land use, shortage of food

19 Human Rights and Refugees
Many different areas of law and policies govern rights of refugees International law Canadian law The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (The Refugee Convention) outlines international policy on how refugees should generally be treated and what rights those seeking asylum are entitled to. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act outline standards and legislation on human rights internationally, within Canada and within Alberta, respectively. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to youth under the age of 18 years and outlines a standard of human rights specifically applicable to children and youth including specific reference to refugee children. Immigration and Refugee Act is the major legal document in Canada which addresses all of the elements necessary to accept a person into Canada as a Refugee. Recently this Act has undergone several amendments which will have an affect on the treatment of those seeking asylum in Canada.

20 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Right not to be held in slavery or tortured or be subject to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 4, 5) Right not to be subject to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile (Article 9) Right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution (Article 14)

21 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 18) Freedom of expression and opinion (Article 19) Right to peaceful assembly (Article 20) Right to enough resources to feed, clothe and house one’s family (Article 25) Right to free education in the elementary years (Article 26)

22 Convention of the Rights of the Child
Inherent right to life (Article 6) Right not to be separated from their parents (Article 9) Right not to be protected from physical or mental harm or neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation (Article 19) Right to free and compulsory primary education (Article 28)

23 Thailand: A Karen refugee girl heads home after school in Mae Sot camp
Thailand: A Karen refugee girl heads home after school in Mae Sot camp. UNHCR / D. Lom

24 Convention of the Rights of the Child
Right to be separated from adults if jailed or detained; right to not be tortured or suffer cruel or degrading treatment (Article 37 (c)) Right to not take part in hostilities and to receive special protection if exposed to armed conflict (Article 38) Right to freely enjoy one’s culture, religion and language (Article 30)

25 Video Shows unique experiences of refugees
Young people in video were between one year and sixteen years old when they were forced to flee From a variety of countries, some more industrialized and some developing Some had parents some did not.

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