Kenyataan Suhakam pada Hari Pelarian Sedunia (Malay/English)

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Sometimes 20, Sometimes 30 - It’s normal for refugees to live in small flats with up to 30 people, who may all be replaced the next week. For survival, they live wherever job opportunities take them - Photograph: UNHCR

[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) ingin menzahirkan kekecewaan terutamanya apabila melihat peningkatan ucapan kebencian dan retorik xenofobia sejak beberapa bulan ini.

Hari Pelarian Sedunia disambut pada 20 Jun setiap tahun bagi meningkatkan kesedaran tentang nasib pelarian di seluruh dunia, dengan tema pada tahun ini ialah “Every Action Counts”.

Ini merupakan peluang bagi meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai kepayahan yang dilalui oleh komuniti ini dan mencerminkan layanan rakyat Malaysia terhadap pelarian yang berada di negara ini. Ia juga merupakan hari bagi rakyat Malaysia mempertimbangkan tentang sumbangan pelarian kepada pembangunan ekonomi negara serta meraikan keberanian dan kesungguhan mereka dalam menghadapi keadaan yang amat sukar.

Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) ingin menzahirkan kekecewaan terutamanya apabila melihat peningkatan ucapan kebencian dan retorik xenofobia sejak beberapa bulan ini berikutan serbuan dan penahanan pelarian dan migran. Sikap dan dasar terhadap pelarian dan migran semakin buruk ketika peningkatan pandemic Covid-19 di Malaysia, di mana sebaliknya, sikap belas kasihan dan bertoleransi terhadap mereka yang bergelut untuk meneruskan kehidupan amat diperlukan.

Suhakam ingin menekankan bahawa setiap orang boleh membawa perubahan dan mempunyai peranan dalam mempromosi dan melindungi hak-hak komuniti pelarian. Setiap daripada kita mempunyai peranan untuk berhenti berpandangan negatif dan tidak menggalakkan prasangka yang dikatakan berpunca daripada komuniti pelarian.

Dalam memainkan peranannya, Suhakam akan meneruskan usaha untuk meningkatkan kesedaran mengenai pelarian dan hak kanak-kanak pelarian termasuk menggalakkan kerajaan untuk menerima pakai dasar perlindungan pelarian berjangka masa panjang yang lebih menyeluruh, inklusif dan tidak mendiskriminasi.

Keutamaan perlu diberikan kepada akses pendidikan kanak-kanak pelarian dan mereka yang lebih berusia dibolehkan untuk mencari pekerjaan bagi menyara kahidupan dan hidup dalam keadaan yang lebih bermaruah. Komuniti ini berhak untuk diberikan akses kepada kemudahan kesihatan dan hak kepada pengadilan apabila diperlukan.

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Suhakam ingin mengingatkan bahawa prinsip non-refoulment memberikan jaminan bahawa tiada sesiapa patut dihantar pulang ke negara di mana mereka akan menjalani hukuman; yang mana ia boleh dianggap sebagai pematuhan undang-undang antarabangsa. Suhakam menggesa kerajaan untuk menghentikan pemintasan dan “penolakan” bot yang membawa muatan pelarian dan menafikan mereka keselamatan kiranya dibenarkan mendarat.

Kerajaan perlu mengkaji semula dasar yang melibatkan pelarian di Malaysia dan memastikan ianya positif dan konsisten, dan bukannya dasar yang berupa ‘ad-hoc’.

Suhakam tidak akan berganjak daripada perjuangan untuk menyokong penyertaan kepada Konvensyen Pelarian 1951, dan akan terus mendesak kerajaan untuk menginstitusikannya dalam bentuk rang undang-undang mengenai pelarian yang akan dibentangkan di Parlimen.

Suhakam menggalakkan kerajaan untuk terus bekerjasama dengan negara-negara serantau, Asean dan komuniti antarabangsa seperti UNHCR dan Pertubuhan Kerjasama Islam (OIC) bagi mengenal pasti penyelesaian bagi isu-isu pelarian yang telah lama berlarutan di Asia Tenggara.

Di peringkat nasional, Suhakam menyeru rakyat Malaysia memberikan komitmen untuk melakukan apa yang terbaik
bagi menyokong komuniti pelarian untuk mendapat perlindungan, sokongan dan kehormatan di negara ini, yang akan membawa kepada dunia yang lebih adil, inklusif dan saksama.

English version

Suhakam’s statement on World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is held every year on 20 June to raise awareness about the plight of refugees around the world, with this year’s theme “Every Action Counts”. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the struggles the community face and to consider how Malaysians treat refugees within its borders. It is also a day for us to reflect on the contributions of refugees to our nation’s economic development and to celebrate their courage and resilience in the face of extreme hardships.

READ MORE:  Fighting terrorism, human trafficking, modern-day slavery; protecting refugees

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) is particularly disappointed to have observed a rise in online hate speech and xenophobic rhetoric in recent months, coinciding with the immigration raids and detention of refugees and migrants. Attitudes and policies toward refugees and migrants have hardened as the Covid-19 pandemic surged in Malaysia, when instead, more compassion and tolerance towards those who are struggling for their survival is needed.

Suhakam wishes to reiterate that everyone can make a difference and have a role to play in promoting and protecting the rights of the refugee community. Each has a role in dispelling negative views and discouraging untruths that have been attributed to the refugee community.

For its part, Suhakam will continue its efforts to increase community awareness about refugee and refugee children’s rights, as well as to encourage the government to adopt comprehensive, inclusive, non-discriminatory and long-term refugee protection policies. Priority should be to grant refugee children access to public education, and those of age should be allowed to seek employment so they may be self-supporting and live with dignity. The community deserve the right to access public medical facilities, as they should also have access to justice, when required.

Suhakam wishes to remind that the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be returned to a country where they are subjected to persecution, which is considered to form part of customary international law. Suhakam urges the government to stop the interception and “pushback” of the boats carrying refugees, effectively denying their safety to be on land.

READ MORE:  Malaysia’s return of asylum seeker and family to Turkey unjust

The government should review all policies affecting refugees in Malaysia, ensuring these are positive and consistent instead of ad hoc in nature.

Suhakam will not relent in advocating the accession to the 1951 Refugee Convention and urges the government to institutionalise this in the form of a bill on refugees that will be tabled in Parliament.

Suhakam would like to encourage the government to continue its international leadership especially with efforts in deepening cooperation with countries in the region, Asean and the international communities including the UN, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in finding lasting solutions to the longstanding refugee problems in South East Asia.

At the national level, Suhakam calls on all Malaysians to commit to do what is right in terms of supporting the refugee community to find safety, support and respect in our country; which will ultimately lead to a more just, inclusive, and equal world.

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