Refugee Communities Expressed Concerns Over Domestic Violent Attacks in India
05 April 2011: More than ten refugee and stateless representatives expressed their grave concerns regarding the increasing domestic problems facing their communities in India and South Asia at a conference organised by The Other Media on 30-31 March in Delhi.
The two-day event, also attended by scholars, researchers, representatives from NGO, other concerned institutions and organisations, and individuals committed to refugee protection in India as well as in South Asia, examined the current state of refugees and their rights protection.
A statement released last Friday by the conference said: “The workshop was a great opportunity of building networks, for refugee communities, both amongst themselves and also between them and the NGO and academic community at the national and South Asian level, and to promote collective action and involvement in removing impediments in protecting the rights of stateless persons and refugees.”
Since refugees and stateless persons are essentially a regional phenomenon, it was urged that the national governments work out a Regional Framework for solving the problem, according to the statement.
The refugee communities from Burma living mostly in Delhi also stressed about the daily threats to their lives, ongoing violent attacks in the local areas and the inability of the Indian police to provide them an adequate protection.
On 28 March this year, a gang of nine Indian locals reportedly raped a 26-year-old Chin refugee woman, originally from Tedim Township in Chin State, around 2pm local time in Delhi.
Another attempted sexual assault was reported saying a 14-year-old Chin refugee girl was rescued while being approached by a naked neighbor local Indian identified as Mr. Waahid around 3pm late last month.
In 2010 alone, at least 30 refugee women were reported to have been sexually assaulted or violently beaten by local Indian men during attempted sexual assaults.
Other key points focused during the two-day event included issues concerning Refugee Convention, 1951, Convention Relating to the status of Stateless Persons, 1954, and the 1961 Convention for Reducing Statelessness.
The conference called on national governments for taking necessary measures to ensure better protection of human rights standards, of refugees and for resolving the outstanding issue of stateless persons.
Van Biak Thang