Refugees

International
Tamil Refugee Assistance Network

Raising the voice of the invisible

Who are refugees?

Refugee is a person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for the reason of Race, Religion, Nationality, Membership of particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.

– 1951 Convention related to the status of Refugees, Article 1( A ) (2)

Who are internally displaced persons?

According to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, internally displaced persons (also known as “IDPs”) are “persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized border.”

What challenges do internally displaced persons face?

People forced to flee or leave their homes – particularly in situations of armed conflict – are generally subject to heightened vulnerability in a number of areas. Displaced persons suffer significantly higher rates of mortality than the general population. They also remain at high risk of physical attack, sexual assault and abduction, and frequently are deprived of adequate shelter, food and health services.

The overwhelming majority of internally displaced persons are women and children who are especially at risk of abuse of their basic rights. More often than refugees, the internally displaced tend to remain close to or become trapped in zones of conflict, caught in the cross-fire and at risk of being used as pawns, targets or human shields by the belligerents.

What is the difference between an internally displaced person and a refugee?

According to the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, a “refugee” is a person who, “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” Subsequent international instruments (such as the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees and the Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa) have expanded this definition for some states to persons fleeing the general effects of armed conflict and/or natural disaster.

A crucial requirement to be considered a “refugee” is crossing an international border. Persons forcibly displaced from their homes who cannot or choose not to cross a border, therefore, are not considered refugees, even if they share many of the same circumstances and challenges as those who do. Unlike refugees, these internally displaced persons do not have a special status in international law with rights specific to their situation. The term “internally displaced person” is merely descriptive.

Source: UNHCR Human Rights

I-TRAN for Refugees

Guided by Tamil values and experience, I-TRAN is working to address the global Tamil refugee crisis. We protect Tamil refugees throughout the world and displaced persons in home land, helping them to build new lives in safety and with dignity.

Why? Because as long as there are still places where it is a crime to be who you are, we have a mandate to be who we are

Join us today. Sign up to learn how you can make a difference on one of the most urgent issues of our time. If you would like to know more about our action, go to our website: www.i-tran.ca

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This will help us our first project for displaced people and advocate for Tamil refugees in developing countries

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Subject: I-TRAN Fund

Unit C-1111 Henderson Hwy
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2G 1L4