Tuesday 3 July 2012

Reflections on Fleeing, Injustice,War, Borders, No Shame by Parwaneh

Parwaneh gave this powerful speech in Queen Square at the end of the demonstration.
"As a person who has lived away from her country for 29 years, I have witnessed the life of many asylum seekers and refugees during this time.

Today I would like to focus on the system of asylum seeker in the UK, which takes away the human rights of refused asylum seekers and makes them destitute. In my opinion, this system is not only harmful for asylum seekers, but also has a very negative impact on the society overall. Isolation, depression, hunger, disappointment and fear of these people will have its consequences and they will never feel themselves as a member of the society after such a long time discrimination.

The system does not permit refused asylum seekers to reside in the UK and portrait them to be illegal, but in reality they are living here, although the systems ignore this truth. Further the system does not give them work permission and when the poverty and hunger of these people and their families forced them to work, usually in hardest and most injustice condition, they are arrested and kept in detention or they are threatened with deportation.

If they cannot work legally and are forced to earn below the minimum wage to stay alive, is this not a form of slavery?

I would like to ask according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, what is the identity of refused asylum seeker before law? Why they should be punished so hardly for fleeing from a dangerous country? We should not forget, that when powerful countries attack places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, apart from destroying countries and the death of innocent people, they should not be surprised, when endangered people seek asylum. The international intervention must stop. Supporting the dictatorship in the world must stop. 

And please don’t forget, the war and politic are not the only reason for asylum seekers to flee from their countries. Severe poverty is clearly violation against human rights. When unjust global investment occurs in countries where people are barbarically exploited and enslaved, how can you justly expect people to remain under the merciless condition without trying to move to other places in the hope of perhaps having a better life. 

Different forms of contemporary slavery, show exploitation of people particularly women and children is growing in entire world, for example %80 of coca produced by using slave labour in Ivory Coast.

The company Gap uses very cheap labour, sometimes children under 12 years old.

The company Nestle also enslaves labours in the most brutal form. Trafficking as a new form of slavery is now a very profitable trade. The profit of weapons productions are unimaginably high, whereas several children die from hunger every day in Africa. 

In such a world full of injustice the border of wealthy countries “ of course with human rights constitutions!” are closed to impoverished people. The distance between wealth and poverty is increasing every day and this is a real danger for the entire world’s future generation .The form of unjust global investment and new form of slavery must stop immediately.

It seems that the contemporary borders are rather the border between poor and rich countries. Millions of people are prisoners of their own borders and has not accessibility to human rights. And when these people manage to escape from their inhuman situation, sometimes the process of recognizing an asylum seeker can take several years. Home Office , consider only a few Article for asylum seekers, but how about Article 6 and 7 that state everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before law, how about Article 25, which state everyone has the right to standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of her/himself and her or his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services and the security. 

And finally how about Article 13 which state: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. This lack of freedom of movement as an essential right may be one of the reasons why vast international inequality of wealth persist and are growing. Who determine where others reside? Seeking asylum is a right and we have responsibility to respect it. No one is in this world illegal. Stop detention of asylum seeker, stop deportation of asylum seeker, stop violation of human rights. 

Now to asylum seeker: do not be ashamed of your situation. Those who have caused this situation must be ashamed. According to Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you are entitled to equal respect and justice. You are citizen of this world. You need to know you are not alone. There are many kind people, have helped you, such people, who have made this events."

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