Child Migrants, Refugees Especially Vulnerable to Violence during Humanitarian Crises, Speakers Tell Third Committee, as Debate on Children Concludes

Source: ReliefWeb

GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIRD COMMITTEE
SEVENTY-FIRST SESSION, 15TH & 16TH MEETINGS (AM & PM)

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) concluded its general discussion on the rights of children today, with delegates describing progress and challenges on a range of issues pertaining to child health, education and protection.

While several delegates shared progress their Governments had made in improving legislative and social mechanisms to prevent violence against children, many were concerned by the growing threat posed by humanitarian emergencies, and in particular, the migrant and refugee crisis.

The representative of Bulgaria, which was both a transit and host country for thousands of refugees and migrants, reminded Member States that “a child is first a child, and after that, a refugee or migrant”. As such, they had rights that must be protected by all. Guatemala’s delegate was particularly concerned by the vulnerability of unaccompanied children migrating across the Americas. Her Government had established consular services in Mexico and the United States to help protect those youth, but she also urged States to stop detaining minors. Similarly, El Salvador’s speaker called for a human rights-based approach to dealing with the situation of child migrants. Echoing those concerns, the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reminded authorities of their obligations under international law to prevent family separation and to avoid detaining children. Read more

Scholar calls for debates on fatwas

Source: FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: A fatwa issued by any individual or group is only an opinion and need not be turned into law, according to a scholar representing Nahdatul Ulama, the world’s largest Islamic organisation.

Zuhairi Misrawi, speaking at a symposium here yesterday, noted that religious leaders were constantly issuing contradictory fatwas on certain issues.

This was why, he said, it was important for scholars to have debates on such issues.

He spoke of a current controversy in Indonesia related to the bid by Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaya Purnama to defend his post in elections in February. Read more

Shattered dreams: Dim future for the refugee child in Malaysia

Source: Asian Corespondent

For refugee kids like Junaidah Rifraq (right), Anas (left), education and a future are distant dreams. Pic by Chris Lau, taken from Asian Corespondent.

For refugee kids like Junaidah Rifraq (right), Anas (left), education and a future are distant dreams. Pic by Chris Lau, taken from Asian Corespondent.

IN Malaysia, a country that has positioned itself as a go-to destination for migrants escaping war and persecution in their homes, access to education is a luxury for refugee children.

Malaysia is not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention, but according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 246,270 “people of concern” in Malaysia last year, a figure that included registered refugees, asylum seekers, as well as other categories of stateless people and those in “refugee-like” situations.

There are dozens of schools here that provide education for the offspring of this sidelined community, many of whom are the Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar (Burma), the most persecuted minority in the world. But the syllabus is said to be insufficient for these youngsters, whose families left home with the dream of starting better lives elsewhere.

According to a UNHCR report in 2013: “Malaysian law makes no distinction between refugees and undocumented migrants. There are some 4 million migrants in the country, approximately 2 million of whom are undocumented and considered illegal. Read more

Swiss activists barred from London premiere after telling DiCaprio to repay 1MDB funds

Source: Asian Correspondent

British and Malaysian activists holding up a banner telling Leonardo DiCaprio to repay stolen Malaysian assets at Leicester Square in London on Saturday, Oct 15, 2016. Source: Bruno Manser Fonds

British and Malaysian activists holding up a banner telling Leonardo DiCaprio to repay stolen Malaysian assets at Leicester Square in London on Saturday, Oct 15, 2016. Source: Bruno Manser Fonds

ACTIVISTS from Bruno Manser Fonds (BMF), the Switzerland-based rainforest charity that has been pressuring Leonardo DiCaprio over his alleged links to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, were denied entry to the London premiere of the Hollywood actor’s climate change documentary on Saturday.

BMF campaign manager Johanna Michel and executive director Lukas Straumann reportedly had valid tickets to attend the event at London’s Leicester Square but were told by security officers and the Odeon theatre’s box office manager that they were not allowed in.

“I was completely surprised when the security officer pulled us out and said we wouldn’t be allowed in,” Straumann said.

In a press statement later, they claimed the reason given to them was because they were seen holding a banner on Leicester Square calling on DiCaprio to pay back “stolen Malaysian corruption assets”. Read more