Suhakam highlights harsh treatment of refugees at Malaysia’s camps
KUALA LUMPUR, 22 April 2016 – A Malaysian official human rights institution has received 24 complaints related to refugees in 2015.
The annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) highlighted complaints from refugees who were unable to receive their UNHCR card, the document that protects them from detention, even though they had applied for it for a long time.
A Malaysian daily, China Press, reported that complaints received by Suhakam last year comprised issues on health, education, employment, detention and documentation.
On health, Suhakam’s 2015 report put stress on the high medical cost that had burdened refugees with chronic diseases and women who gave birth at local hospitals.
Suhakam also received complaints about undocumented migrants being tormented and harshly treated in detention camps in Malaysia.
“Suhakam suggests enforcement agencies in Malaysia, including the immigration department, to organize more human rights-related courses for their staff members,” the the report said.
“All enforcement officers and staffs working in immigration detention camps must attend these courses,” it added.
According to Suhakam, immigration officers must learn to differentiate in a human rights point of view between undocumented migrants and refugees. – Reporting by Thomas Chong