NGO: Refugees are vulnerable as Government refuses to sign UN convention

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PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita says the government is responsible for the poor treatment and insecurity experienced by refugees in the country as it has still not ratified the United Nations (UN) Convention on Refugees.

The human rights NGO’s executive director Glorene Das said such an endorsement, together with relevant policies giving recognition to refugees, would make them feel safe in the country.

Das was responding to a report in which the Malaysian Social Research Institute (MSRI) said Malaysia is a “living hell” for refugees.

She said the government’s refusal to recognise the UN convention on refugees made them feel vulnerable to human trafficking syndicates.

Das said refugees always risked being arrested and deported as they had no proper documents to show.

Aside from the government’s refusal to recognise the UN convention on refugees, other concerns included the legal hurdles for refugees to get jobs and education.

She added that efforts to change people’s perspective of refugees remained ineffective as there are no policies implemented by the government to recognise them and give them certain fundamental rights.

According to Das, even if the government is not ready to sign the UN convention on refugees now, developing relevant policies for their benefit is crucial.

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