ODVV’s letter to Interior Ministry of the...
Regarding the outbreak of Covid-19, the Organization for Defending Victims of Violence, has provided some recommendations to the Interior Minister of I.R.Iran related to refugees and foreign migrants residing in Iran.
Here is the text of the letter:
Mr. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli
Esteemed Interior Minister
Interior Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Regarding the outbreak of Coronavirus and issues related to refugees and foreign migrants residing in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Considering the current sensitive conditions and the outbreak of Coronavirus in the country and its effect on health, education and livelihood of refugees and migrants, ODVV is interested in providing recommendations within the framework of domestic laws, the 1951 Refugees Convention and its 1967 Additional Protocol in order to promote refugees’ rights inside the country:
Health: Welcoming the calculated action of the President with regards to provision of free healthcare services to refugees and foreign migrants that have contracted Coronavirus, which has been commended by international circles and community, the ODVV requests for a mechanism to be adopted to address the recent challenges faced by refugees and migrants where for whatever reason hospitals and medical centers refuse to provide services to them, investigate such cases and make assurances towards the provision of these services.
Education: In view of the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child the “best interests” principle which stresses on the breakdown and analysis of the effects of any action, Member States decisions and or legislations regarding children, since the shutdown of schools in the country because of the Coronavirus and the expansion of online education in the country, it has affected all children in the country including foreign students and considering that a notable number close to half a million refugee and migrant students do not have access to computers, mobile phones or the internet, we request that with the assistance of international organizations and UNHCR arrangements be made to while analyzing the impact of this action, vulnerable children are identified and necessary assistance be provided to them for their enjoyment of online education.
Livelihood: Considering that the employment of a notable percentage of Afghan refugees and migrants in the country is on a day to day basis, particularly in the construction industry, and noting that the outbreak of Coronavirus has halted a lot of the construction works, we request that, while considering chapter 3 of the Refugees Convention (although Iran only deems article 17 of this chapter as a recommendation) and coordinating with other relevant bodies, the list of permitted professions for foreign nationals to be extended, so that more employment opportunities are created for these vulnerable groups and families.