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18 Stars and Mud: the Participation of Refugee Workers in Refugee Policy Formation

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Chapter Summary

It is impossible to make sound policy decisions without knowing the people who are affected by the policy. Refugees are the people in countries of resettlement that most need help - the help of those who know the system, can speak on their behalf, can help them settle and integrate. Refugee workers know what is needed to make a system work. But refugee policy-makers will not listen. The elements of a functioning refugee determination system are: 1) Access, 2) A definition of protection broad enough to cover serious risk, 3) An independent qualified decision-maker, 4) Right to counsel, 5) A right to an interpreter, 6) Controlling unscrupulous consultants, 7) Disclosure, 8) An oral hearing, 9) Benefit of the doubt, 10) Availability of independent country condition information, 11) Reasons, 12) An appeal, 13) A possibility of reopening and second claims, 14) Humane treatment of claimants, and 15) Access to judicial review.

Keywords: humane treatment; judicial review; refugee policy-makers; refugee workers; resettlement; right to an interpreter; right to counsel



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