Tunisia: Joint letter of the civil society monitoring committee on the situation of migrants evacuated from the refugee camp of Choucha

Migration and Asylum, Open Letter, Tunisia

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Two months after the forced and sudden evacuation of 35 refugees and asylum-seekers from the Choucha camp, on June 19th 2017, the civil society organisations members of the monitoring committee express outrage over the way these people have been taken care of and call on official organisations designated as referents as well as public authorities to take full responsability of their mandate and immediately engage more resources in dealing with the situation.

Since the nomination of the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) and the Tunisian Red Crescent as focal points in June, the situation for the 35 people temporarily hosted in the youth house facilities in la Marsa hasn’t evolved. On the contrary, some of them have reported that they have not been visited by doctors for several weeks, although they have to undergo regular medical treatment. The state of precarity and vulnerability of several migrants also requires psychological care which has not been provided.

Although the need to limit the number of focal points and to centralise follow-up procedures was justified at first, it seems that the capacities of the referent organisations have not led to effective care and that as a result the migrants’ basic and fundamental rights have been neglected.

Furthermore, despite multiple interviews and precarious personal situations, no sustainable solution has been proposed. According to several sources, they were notified of the decision to split them up in multiple groups and relocate them in various accommodation facilities. Faced with utter lack of transparency on their situation, they have decided to go on a hunger strike to alert the public on their living conditions.

Because of the overall lack of transparency and responsibility of the authorities in charge, the civil society organisations members of the monitoring committee demand:

  • Immediate medical and psychological care, in collaboration with specialized civil society organisations
  • An emergency meeting including all stakeholders (civil society, international organisations, Tunisian authorities) in order to seriously look at all possible long term solutions
  • “Exceptional” solutions to end this exceptional situation which has been lasting for too long, and that these solutions meet the expectations of the migrants

Organisations :

  • Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights
  • Tunisian League for the Defence of Human Rights
  • EuroMed Rights
  • Doctors of the World
  • Doctors without Borders
  • Mercy Corps