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  RAFIQ general meeting of the 10th anniversary
on 23 October 2011


Goals of RAFIQ
  • Variously support refugees seeking asylum in Japan, for living together with refugees in our communities.
  • As a friend, give refugees all the support each of us can.
Challenges of RAFIQ after 10 years
  • As ‘The Network aiming at the Coexistence with the Refugees in Japan’, RAFIQ has connected supports of each members. As an organization, however, we have not sufficiently accumulated each activity, while it has been entrusted to ability of each member.
    After 10 years, we would like to more systematize our accumulated activities in order to be able to work even in the absence of the person in charge. To do this, we would like to draw up understandable reports and make the most of them for our next activities.
  • We will grasp the biggest problem of the actual situation how refugees apply and get approval of recognition of refugee status, and will support them as much as possible. We will also do publicizing activities and appeal to Japanese government to make Japan become a humanitarian asylum country for refugees.
  • RAFIQ is a small NGO without full-time staff. Although there are few NGO working for refugees in Japan and a variety of supports for refugees are limited, we would like to extend supports for refugees living now in Japan, together with the people to whom we have linked up for the last decade.
Objectives of the general meeting
  • Deepen the visible relationship between refugees and supporters.
  • Set up a place for refugees to convey their thoughts to supporters.
Present situation of supports: refugee situations in Osaka prefecture
  • Afghan (3 persons): 3 Afghans applied for recognition of refugee status in 2002 and their applications were disapproved. All the three have been conditionally released for nearly10 years.
  • Ugandan (4 persons): The applications of 3 Ugandans were disapproved and they litigated .
  • Congolese (3 persons): 1 Congolese litigated 1 appealed to the Minister of Justice for special permission to stay and 1 is a mother with a child.
  • Pakistani (3 persons): 2 Pakistanis litigated and 1 is going to reapply.
  • Sri Lankan (13 persons): 4 Sri Lankans litigated , 2 reapplied and 1 filed an appeal by objection to the disapproval. Among 13 Sri Lankans, there are 1 woman and 1 family including a child.
  • Burmese (1 person): Got disapproval and is preparing for litigation.
  • Iranian (1 person): Applied and is waiting for the result.
In addition to the people mentioned above, we are in contact with many refugees and applicants for recognition of refugee status in Nagoya in Aichi prefecture.

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RAFIQ general meeting of the 10th anniversary

Demonstration against long detention
in the Nishi-Nihon Immigration Center
in February, 2010

Press Conference about
our supports for detainees
in Immigration Detention Center.

Assembly of
"World Refugee Day 2011 in Kansai"

Study program on the Home Country
of a refugee

Campaign to collect signatures and donations for refugees

View Exchange with other organizations
Activities for the future from October 2011

  1. Supports for refugees

Refugees in Japan are faced with a problem that Refugee Inquirer is apt to ask an applicant a kind of leading questions and draws up a record of the answers for sending to Investigation Department. As the background, there is a case that any company is not allowed for an applicant during the interview, without an interpreter.

The point is that the Application Form filled by an applicant and the record written by Refugee Inquirer come to be an important basis for both an interview with Refugee Adjudication Counselors and a court later on. The applicant herself/himself has a responsibility for proving them.

Moreover, necessary documents for filing an appeal to the Minister of Justice should be translated into Japanese. Because the statements written on Application Form is important, recently we give an applicant advice that she/he submit Application Form again, not file an litigation which costs money and takes time. In addition, we advise an applicant to fill Application Form sufficiently in her/his own word
Examples of supports
  • Supports for applying for recognition of refugee status
  • Supports for collection of evidence
  • Translation
  • Provision of an interpreter and a lawyer for an applicant
  • Observation in court
  2. Supports for making a life and supports after conditional release

It is not easy to support an applicant without qualification for her/his working. We will continue our supports mainly through the shelter "Minna-No-Ie (House for everyone)" and will widen our supporting network. For daily supports, we also will increase supporters living in the neighborhood of refugees. Even it is important for their daily lives to translate documents written in Japanese.
Examples of supports
  • Supports for foreigner registration, application for RHQ, guiding the use of public transportation and so on.
  • Supports for studying Japanese language
  • Supports for looking for a job
  3. Supports for detainees in Immigration Detention Centers

At present, nearly 10 applicants are detained in Nishi-Nihon Immigration Center. As of the end of 2009, nearly 30 were detained. Among them, many had been detained for more than 1 year and many complained that they had health problems physically and mentally.

As the hunger strike of detainees has spread since March 2010, detention for more than 1 year has nearly run out. As for the detainees who are qualified to be released conditionally, more than 6 months have passed since Written Deportation Orders was issued for them.

Also, united actions of detainees made their living conditions improve. But because Immigration Detention Centers are managed arbitrarily by the chiefs, we always should keep a close eye on them. In addition, while we will continue cooperate with "Kansai-Nyūkan-Net", we will join the activity demanding "alternative measures to detention".
Examples of other supports
  • A visit to Immigration Detention Center to meet the detainees
  • Participation in a wholesale visit to Immigration Detention Center
  • Collective appeal to Nishi-Nihon Immigration Center for conditional release, improvement of living conditions of the detainees and so on)
  • Supports for "Karihōmensya-No-Kai (Group of conditionally released people)"
  • Cooperation with "Kansai-Nyūkan-Net"
  4. Appeals on Immigration Policy regarding Refugee

Because Democratic Party of Japan came into power in 2008 and it referred to refugee issues in its Policy INDEX, we drew up as citizens "New Refugee Recognition Act" and have appealed to Japanese government for receiving refugees with humanitarian purpose. Particularly we have appealed to the Diet members living in Kansai area, and will continue such appeals.

  5. Enlightenment for citizens and participation in particular events

Japanese government made reference about refugee reception that "Japanese people are not ready enough". We have to proceed with enlightening activities for people to be ready for refugee reception.
We distribute 20,000 handbills of the assembly of ”World Refugee Day” every June. We also came to receive requests for lecture delivery on refugee issues. Moreover, inquiries from students have increased. What about inviting refugees to events in your neighborhood for enlightening citizens? We will go on following activities:
  • Participation in the executive committee for the assembly of "World Refugee Day" in 2012
  • Planning assemblies for revising Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act
  • Holding basic lectures such as "Want to know more about refugees" and "What is like Immigration Detention Center?"
  • Lecture delivery for students and citizens
  • Participation in all kinds of event
  6. Informing activities

While we send information to RAFIQ members through the Mailing List, we also publicize information through our website, RAFIQ Mail Magazine and Twitter for informing people as many as possible.

Now the visitors to our website counted more than 108,500 and the number of enrollment of RAFIQ Mail Magazine reached 350. The people of Ministry of Justice of Japan seem to check our information. We will enrich the contents and aim for multilingual website. We also hope more followers in Twitter.

We have good relations with humanitarian and other organizations which work on refugee issues or problems of Immigration Policy in Kansai area. As a result, the assembly of "World Refugee Day" draws about 200 people now.

While continuously we will deepen cooperation with other organizations in Kansai area, we will widen cooperation with organizations in Kantō area. Particularly, information sharing and expression of appreciation are important.

  7. Reporting activities and an increase in RAFIQ members

Since July 2011, we have held a regular meeting in the end of the month, and we send the meeting report for the members through the Mailing List. In spite of a few participants in our regular meeting, we came to send report more regularly for our monthly Mail Magazine being issued on 15th.

Some information cannot be publicized, because they are sensitive for refugees. However, we aim for continuously enriching the contents and sharing each activity. Additionally, we will make a format of report.

Although daily busyness makes us slow in an increase in RAFIQ members, we try not to forget to invite each participant to become a member, as an increase in our member is essential for expansion of our activities.

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RAFIQ JAPAN (The Network aiming at the Coexistence with the Refugees in Japan)
Nanmin-House 4-9-13 HigashiMikuni Yodogawa-ku Osaka-shi, 532-0002
TEL:06-6335-4440 / mailto: rafiqtomodati@yahoo.co.jp

http://rafiq.jp/eng/

Copyright of all contents (except for the part) will belong to their relationship and their RAFIQ.