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In Conjunction with World Refugee Day
SAM is Issuing a Legal Paper to Highlight the Continuing Violations on Internal Displaced Persons and the Suffering of Refugees Abroad


Geneva - SAM said that the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Yemeni refugees abroad and millions of internal displaced persons continued. It witnessed an escalation of violations committed by the parties to the conflict against them internally. Moreover the international community and the Arab States have abandoned their legal and moral responsibilities and role in this case externally. This has seriously exacerbated the situation of refugees, threatening their fundamental rights, in the absence of an undue role on the part of the international organizations concerned, particularly UNHCR, which is suffering a decline in its performance in view of the rise in the number of refugees around the world that has reached almost 82 million.

 In a legal paper issued in conjunction with the World Refugee Day on 20 June of each year, the organization said that information it collected and documented on the living conditions of Yemeni refugees outside the country reflected a serious decline in the enjoyment of their basic rights by individuals. Thousands of refugees have even been threatened with forced deportation to Yemen, while the country is experiencing internal conflicts, lack of control, security and food insecurity.

The organization noted that the suffering also includes more than 3 million internally displaced Yemeni and African refugees who fled their countries of internal conflict and economic crisis to a more vulnerable and complex country, in the absence of an international role in protecting the rights of those refugees and interference by some Arab States that have had an impact on the increase of such violations through military participation and support for armed terrorist organizations that played an unforgivable role in violating the rights of thousands of Africans fleeing to Yemen, in particular the Houthi group's violations against African refugees, the most recent of which occurred in a group-controlled shelter on 17 March 2021, when a member of the Houthi group dropped a bomb directly on the detainees, resulting in a fire in the rooms and buildings of the centre, killing 450 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, and injuring more than 1,500 migrants spread across a number of hospitals.

Yemeni Refugees. Extended Suffering

The Human Rights Organization reported that more than 190,000 Yemeni fled the country at the beginning of the conflict in September 2014, after the Houthi militia took over the capital Sana'a by force of arms, and the subsequent intervention of the Saudi-led coalition and the Emirates in the war against the Houthi rebels as The war caused the destruction of much of the country's infrastructure, which was targeted with indiscriminate mortar shell missiles and ballistic missiles by the Houthi group, or with multiple devastating airstrikes by coalition aircraft, and the number of refugees has gradually declined since the beginning of 2018, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

At various times, the parties to the conflict have imposed a stifling blockade on Yemen, both by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, which has contributed to the closure of maritime ports and the halt of operations from Sana'a airport. The Houthi militia also imposed a siege on the city of Taiz and its airport, which comprises 5 million of the total population, leaving some 3 million Yemenis classified as internally displaced.

Some of those who managed to escape sought refuge in the Horn of Africa because of its geographical proximity to Yemen on the other side of the Red Sea, often traveling through small fishing vessels, with many settling in Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan and neighbouring countries. However, camps are often unsafe and poorly equipped. This is attested to by repeated attacks by wild animals including snakes, scorpions and even baboons – which raided camps and took small food supplies intended for people. This comes as refugees endure extreme temperatures, with complaints that they are not receiving adequate support.

Threat of deportation

The organization has described its monitoring of dozens of incidents in which many host States have documented the threat of forced deportation to their countries by dozens of Yemenis without committing any legal infractions, such as: Britain, Jordan, India and the Spanish autonomous  city of Ceuta. As a British newspaper has revealed, dozens of asylum-seekers will be deported from Britain in conjunction with the Home Office's acceleration of its brutal deportation campaign inside the country. The author of the report, Bethany Reilly, described Yemeni conditions in detention centres as similar to prison, and that some of them had not left the facility for two weeks because of intimidation from far - right activists based abroad. The Ministry of the Interior is also currently facing a series of legal challenges regarding the "inhuman" and "illegal" conditions in the camp, where some 400 asylum-seekers are being held in rooms with up to 15 beds.

Spain has created difficulties for Yemenis seeking asylum elsewhere. At the beginning of 2020, Spain announced that refugees in transit must receive a transit visa, which means that Yemenis cannot pass through the country without additional permits. Before that, Yemenis could plan to travel to a third country during a stop in Spain. Human Rights Watch accused the Jordanian authorities of deporting four Yemeni asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR and issued deportation decisions against others who had applied for asylum. It added that "the authorities have issued most of the deportation decisions after Yemenis tried to apply for work permits and to correct their immigration status in the country."

According to the organization, "as of 16 March, Jordan has hosted 13,000 and 843 Yemeni refugees and asylum-seekers." "Since January 2019, Jordanian instructions have effectively prevented UNHCR from recognizing any refugees except Syrians, depriving many of the humanitarian services and putting them at risk of deportation," .

Yemenis in India also face the risk of arrest and forced deportation, at a time when the new corona virus has been spreading, and Yemen has been suffering from a war that has been going on for years, more than 700 Yemeni students, patients and fugitives suffer from the instability of their situation in India after the Indian authorities refused to give them legal documents that would enable them to reside in the country, they worked to arbitrarily deport them to Yemen by force and coercion. The Human Rights Organization noted that these Yemenis have been living in India for about 4 years, mostly in the cities of Hyderabad, New Delhi and Bangalore. They are unable to return to Yemen because of the war, fearing that their lives would be put at risk if they were to move to their places of residence, and suspect that UNHCR does not grant them a similar asylum card, which makes it difficult to deal with the Indian Government, which does not positively address the registration document.

The economic situation of refugees

The limited income affects different aspects of life in the Yemeni refugee community, especially in host countries with high living costs such as Jordan, where the average rent for a single apartment in the city centre is about $700. The average is about 30 percent higher than the rent prices in Cairo, Egypt. The high cost of living is being pushed to the brink by the Yemeni in the host countries, and they are being dragged into compelling humanitarian conditions. According to published information, some families in some Arab countries, for example Jordan, may have to share one small apartment with another family, and another asylum seeker reports that the youth apartments are so overcrowded that 15 young people may share  one room.

Similarly, in Kuala Lumpur, the "capital of Malaysia," where Yemenis are not legally allowed to work, some have established different restaurants in the city, where these also serve as centres where Yemenis can discuss problems and seek advice from others on legal or community issues. Although there are raids carried out by anti-immigration forces, Yemenis are at risk of being taken to detention centres. Some Yemenis have tried to reach South Korea from Malaysia, where some 500 Yemeni people arrived on Jeju Island, South Korea, in 2018, and sought refuge in the country, yet were prevented from leaving the island.

limited services

In addition to housing problems, Yemeni refugees and asylum-seekers have other difficulties with health services and education, which vary from country to country. In Egypt, for example, they have equal access to primary, secondary and emergency public health care, as well as to public education. In Jordan, health-care services are provided in exchange for money, and Yemeni people pay school fees, transport costs and school supplies. Although these costs already burden asylum-seekers and refugees, people seem more disturbed by the low quality of education, as described by a Yemeni female asylum-seeker in Jordan, and by the bullying and violence of their children by their peers and teachers. In Somalia, the language problem is a fundamental dilemma for Yemenis; This leads them to enrol their children in private schools taught in Arabic.

Death Boats  ..Refugee's Way to Life

SAM reports that in recent years hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa - mostly Ethiopian and Somali - have crossed the waterway into Yemen, trying to reach neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Smugglers' boats are usually overcrowded and unsafe  for sailing which makes the trip risky. Once they arrive in Yemen - which has been suffering from a war that has been going on for years - smugglers detain many migrants for days or even months until their families pay ransom, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The organization reported that a boat carrying African migrants sank off the coast of Yemen this week, amid fears that dozens had been killed as a result of the incident. Fishermen in Yemen's Lahjj governorate told media agencies that they had recovered 25 bodies from the water near the Ras al-Ara area. A local official noted that a boat of between 160 and 200 people had overturned in the area two days earlier. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicated that it was verifying reports that a boat with a large number of migrants had drowned. Ras al-Arah is a coastal extension used by human smugglers and is located east of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, a 20 km wide waterway that separates Yemen from Djibouti and connects the Red Sea with the Gulf of Aden. Last April, at least 44 people were killed following a boat coup by human smugglers on their way from Yemen to Djibouti.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of migrants arriving in Yemen has declined since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, with 5100 people so far this year, compared to 35,000 in 2020 and 127,000 in 2019. However, more than 32,000 migrants found themselves stuck in the country, with the border with Saudi Arabia closed and few jobs. Many of them live in dangerous conditions, usually without access to food, shelter, security and medical care.

African refugees

Thousands of Africans flee the eastern brunette continent every year to escape the difficulty of living in their troubled countries, riding death boats in the Gulf of Aden, hoping to reach the hoped - for safety on Yemeni shores. Some are lucky to survive, the rest are usually stranded on land or die at sea by the practices of human smugglers.


Prior to the events of the year 2011 Yemen hosted more than million African refugees, mostly Somalis, followed by Ethiopian, Eritrean and others, the majority of whom lived and worked in various cities while some lived in refugee camps under the supervision of the United Nations. But circumstances changed thereafter because of the worsening political and economic crisis. The situation of African migrants and refugees in Yemen has been further deteriorated and the war broke out six years ago, with large - scale Saudi military intervention. Consequently, Yemen is no longer a safe place for these people or the Saudi border from which to infiltrate its nearby cities as easily as it was.


Through its previous reports and legal statements, SAM has uncovered numerous violations of African migrants, particularly those stranded after the closure of the Saudi-Yemeni border. These persons have faced major challenges, including internal conflict, lack of security services in addition  to violations by some parties to the conflict against them by exploiting and abducting them in exchange for money from their families, sexually abusing their women and girls, or by forcing them to participate in hostilities, particularly the Houthi, which have a record of systematic violations against African refugees, including  forcing hundreds of them to fight at Saudi borders after being forcibly trained in Houthi camps.


SAM stresses that the information she has mentioned in her legal paper on refugee and displacement situations is part of an extended violation of hundreds of thousands of people every day, without real and active action either by the internationally recognized Yemeni government or by the parties to the conflict By avoiding the repercussions of internal conflicts and by providing full protection, especially since many international conventions have guaranteed that category special protection and full rights, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Civil, Political, In addition to the Convention on the Rights of Asylum and the Convention on the Rights of Women and Children, which together guaranteed many fundamental rights binding upon all parties to the conflict. "

SAM" emphasised  that the absence of relevant United Nations bodies and institutions has provided an implicit cover for many parties to the conflict to continue their violations, holding the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Yemen and other international persons fully responsible for the deterioration of the situation of refugees and displaced persons in the country and abroad because of their negative attitudes towards violations against refugees.

 SAM also confirm on the need to activate genuine international mechanisms to further ensure the protection of the rights of those individuals, in particular the provision of safe places and basic requirements for food, education, health and other rights, and to bring offenders to a fair trial for serious violations.


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