[The following is a note sent by representatives of Somali refugee community in Delhi in the context of their protests before the UNHCR office in Delhi. The note is carried here with minimal grammatical and formatting editing; no changes have been made in the language of the text]
Somalia is a country located in east Africa. It is a country where there is no functioning government for the last two decades .There is 100 thousands of Somali refugees who flee to the neighboring countries like Kenya and Yemen, a fraction of those refugees came to India.
On the other hand Somali refugees living in New Delhi are the third largest community registered from the UNHCR after Afghani’s and Burmese.
Some of the Somali refugees who live here are staying 20 years while some stays 10 years, remaining arrives last five years.
The UNHCR provides for refugees three durable solutions which are as follows.
3.Resettlement in third country
The Somali Refugees don’t receive the above solutions.
1.The UNHCR officers told us integration is not possible for us that is why we can’t get resident permits and work permits .All of us are having UNHCR certificates and recognized as refugees but no rights and no benefits. The UNHCR used to give monthly payment to the neediest people of our community and recently they stop it. Those people were elders and widow women with children.
2.There is a lot of people who face difficult situation’s and request from the UNHCR voluntarily repatriation to go back to their country and face persecution there. The UNHCR reply was we didn’t bring you to India so we can’t return you back.
3.The third and the last option is resettlement in a third country. The UNHCR considers few cases of our community compared to the number of Somali refugees living in India. We know resettlement is limited but we were requesting from the UNHCR for the last years to have number of resettlement quota proportionally compared to the number of Somali refugees.
4.The Question we are asking the international community, India, donor countries and UNHCR office in Geneva is.
Since we are living in India for a long period without rights and assistance and now the senior officers of the UNHCR tell us to be prepared to stay here for the coming 15 years without rights and assistance. How it is possible for us to survive in such kind of situation.