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MRG and partners concerned about the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in Tunisia

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Cliquez ici pour lire ce communiqué en français.

انقر هنا لقراءة هذا البيان باللغة العربية.

The following statement was co-signed by a coalition of organizations working in or on Tunisia, including MRG, on 18 February 2022.

We, the undersigned organizations, are concerned with the deterioration of the situation of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in the last period in Tunisia.

Since last week, a group of refugees and asylum seekers have been holding a sit-in in front of the UNHCR in Zarzis demanding to be resettled in safer countries and to protest against the lack of support from the UNHCR and its local partners especially after the big delays in providing financial assistance, closing offices in certain regions and shutting down shelters where they lived.

Many migrants are also facing arbitrary arrests and verbal and physical violence. These arrests have also been affecting students and people with legal residence permits. Most of these arrests are based on racial profiling and skin colour.

Provocative social media campaigns contributed to feeding the general racist behaviours in society and the rise in the numbers of attacks and violence against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Many of them also experienced hate crimes and were chased from their workplaces and homes. This situation made it more complicated especially for the most vulnerable ones like Queer people, women, unaccompanied minors, and disabled people.

Based on what we described above, we demand that:

  • The UNHCR and its local partners respect their commitments and provide the needed protection for refugees and asylum seekers. We also demand to speed the processes of status determination and resettlement.

We ask the Tunisian state to:

  • Update migration and residency laws to find longer term solutions and not accept the European border policies agreements.
  • Guarantee the right for education and protect children especially the unaccompanied ones.
  • Provide safety for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers and punish racist behaviours and hate campaigns based on the law 50 against all forms of racial discrimination of 2018.
  • Create a national asylum law that can provide protection for asylum seekers and makes it possible for them to be regularized and have access to work in an environment that prevents abuse.

We also call on civil society to stand in solidarity with these communities, to educate about the dangers of such hate campaigns against migrants and to provide the victims with the legal, psychological, and social support they need.

Signatories

  • Initiative Mawjoudin pour l’égalité
  • Ligue tunisienne de défense des droits de l’Homme
  • Damj, l’Association Tunisienne pour la Justice et l’Égalité
  • Association Femme Rurale Jendouba
  • Comité pour le Respect des Libertés et des Droits de l’Homme en Tunisie
  • Forum tunisien des droits économiques et sociaux
  • Association Kayan pour les droits humains
  • Collectif Outcast
  • Le Comité de Vigilance pour la Démocratie en Tunisie – Belgique
  • Réseau tunisien pour la justice transitionnelle
  • Alliance tunisienne pour la dignité et la réhabilitation
  • Association voix de Bir Lahmar
  • Association Taqullam pour la liberté d’expression et la créativité
  • Le Groupe Tawhida Ben Cheikh
  • L’association MADA
  • Association intersection pour les droits et les libertés
  • Free Sight Association
  • Fondation hassan saadaoui pour la démocratie et l’égalité
  • Attalaki
  • Association Voix du Jeune
  • Association Nachaz-Dissonances
  • Organisation contre la torture en Tunisie
  • OTLD
  • Association Renouvellement et appartenance
  • FODD
  • Association BEITY
  • Association L’ART RUE
  • Union nationale des femmes tunisiennes section de kairouan
  • Association Museaïque
  • Association Citoyenneté, Développement, Cultures & Migrations des Deux Rives (CDRMIR)
  • Association Alkarama pour les droits et libertés
  • PCDDH
  • Association tunisienne de défense des libertés individuelles
  • Association tunisienne pour l’équité, la justice sociale et la dignité humaine ‘BASTA’
  • UDC
  • Association tunisienne des personnes handicapées
  • EuroMed Rights
  • ADD
  • Aswat Nissa
  • Danseurs Citoyens Sud
  • By lhwem
  • Association Tunisienne de Soutien des Minorités
  • Association Tunisienne de l’Action Culturelle ATAC
  • OMCT
  • Minority Rights Group
  • No Peace Without Justice
  • Terre d’Asile Tunisie
  • Amid Vision Organisation
  • DocHouse
  • Association des Jeunes au Service des Femmes de Kasserine
  • Association égalité
  • L’association Tivar citoyenneté égale
  • Innopeace
  • Mountada Ettajdid

Photo: Tunisia from the sky. Credit: Sami Mlouhi. Image published on Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

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