By Burnett Munthali
About 200 Refugees and asylum seekers were arrested by Malawi Police Service in collaboration with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services on Wednesday 17 May, 2023.
Refuge advocate Innocent Magambi hinted to the Nation newspaper that Malawi Police Service denied well wishers from giving good to the arrested refugees.
More questions than answers have been raised by different people from all corners of this country. All questions need correct answers.
This article endeavors to answer some of the questions raised by the general public. Some questions may not have been answered due to space and time limit spent on the issues that continue to be raised.
Xenophobia, and its consequences on policies, practices, opinions and attitudes, leads to societies with fewer opportunities for inclusive and sustainable human development, mortgaging the living conditions of future generations.
What is the solution for fear Take time out. It’s impossible to think clearly when you’re flooded with fear or anxiety. The first thing to do is take time out so you can physically calm down.
Distract yourself from the worry for 15 minutes by walking around the block, making a cup of tea or having a bath.
An asylum seeker leaves his country and seeks protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in the home country, but is not yet legally recognized as a refugee and is waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim. Seeking asylum is a human right.
Refugees face many problems and here are some of them: language barriers, housing problems, access to medical services, cultural differences, raising children, prejudice and racism.
Refugees, defined by international humanitarian law as people in need of protection, are entitled to a privileged status. Once granted refugee status in a host country, the state can’t deport them.
Migrants, on the other hand, live without legal protection and can be deported at any time.
Refugees and asylum-seekers are mainly hosted in the Dzaleka refugee camp, close to the capital city of Lilongwe.
The Government of Malawi has an encampment policy which restricts refugees from certain rights such as access to tertiary education and formal employment.
The rights of an asylum seeker include the right not to be returned to a place where they are at risk of persecution. It also includes the right not to be penalized for being in or entering a country without permission where this is necessary for them to seek and receive asylum.
In 1989, Malawi passed the Refugee Act which provides for the receiving, admission and treatment of refugees and the application of the international instruments.
The 1994 Malawi Constitution recognizes international law and contains a Bill of Rights applicable to all people of Malawi.