News / Africa

Rights Group Calls on Tunisia to Protect Migrants

Refugees gather near burnt tents at Choucha camp in Tunisia near the Libyan border, May 22, 2011
Refugees gather near burnt tents at Choucha camp in Tunisia near the Libyan border, May 22, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

A human rights group says Tunisia must do more to protect migrant workers who fled the violence in neighboring Libya.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says there are about 3,000 foreign nationals living in the camps, mostly from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia. Some, it said, have been the targets of violence.

“They’re being held in camps along the Libyan border and it’s an enormous strain on the Tunisian economy at a time when Tunisia is dealing with a political transition,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy director for the Mideast and North Africa for HRW.

Tensions

“Overall,” he said, “reception has been good. But lately tensions have been building. The residents of these camps want to be re-settled in other countries. Many of them are asylum seekers. They do not wish to be repatriated.”

Clashes have occurred between migrants and local Tunisians. HRW said local residents have entered some camps and attacked the migrants.

“The army has not been effective in stopping this violence. Some of the refugees accuse the army of being involved in the violence. There have been six people from [sub-Saharan] Africa who were killed in violent situations inside the Choucha camp over the last two months.”

This area of Tunisia is a main route for the flow of goods to and from Libya, and locals rely on it for their livelihoods.

“The conflict has disrupted that. And at one point the migrants who are sheltered there [blocked] the road in protest to demand a quicker resettlement to Western countries. The residents who profit from this trade grew angry. They invaded the camp. And there were also conflicts between some of the nationalities within the camps. The Tunisian army has to get on top of this situation, has to provide protection to these vulnerable people.”

HRW also wants international aid organizations to do more to help the displaced migrants in Tunisia.

Visited the camp

HRW staffers visited the Choucha camp between June 7 and 10 and had full access.

“Goldstein said, “We were able to talk to a colonel in the Tunisian army, as well as to many refugees and migrants within the camps and were not interfered with in our work.”

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid