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Fahamu | La situation des réfugiés en Algérie

Malgré que l’Algérie soit signataire de la Convention sur les réfugiés de 1951, elle n’a élaboré aucun système permettant la mise en œuvre de ses obligations internationales en matière d’asile. Le taux de reconnaissance des réfugiés est proche de zéro, incluant ceux reconnus par le HCR. Les réfugiés n’ont aucun droit, ni celui au logement, à l’éducation, à l’emploi et n’ont aucun permis de résidence.

Article de Shadia El Dardiry, coordinateur du EUROMED Workhing Group pour les réfugiés et les migrants. Cliquez ici pour lire l’article sur le site de la Fahamu.

New asylum legislation is currently being prepared in collaboration with the UNHCR and organisations such as the Italian Council for Refugees. However, organisations on the ground fear that it may be accompanied by restrictive legislation with regards to, for example, the creation of detention centres. While detention in ordinary prisons is extremely problematic, there are serious concerns that future detention centres would be even less accessible for organisations such as the International Red Cross, and further increase the vulnerability of those inside.

Algeria’s Law 08-011 relating to conditions of entry, stay and circulation in Algeria punishes and criminalises irregular migration and affects not only migrants but those who transport, hire, lodge or assist them. Migrants who face a deportation order do not have the possibility to appeal the decision, despite this being provided for in the law. Despite access to health being guaranteed by Algerian law, those in need of health services are extremely reluctant to go to hospitals, for fear of being reported and arrested inside or on their way.

The UNHCR is absent from key border areas where the majority of migrants and refugees find themselves – in particular in Maghnia on the Moroccan border and in the south on the border with Mali. The obstacles to circulation imposed by the Law no. 08-11, and the absence of the UNHCR and of humanitarian or human rights organisations in these regions, strongly limits their access to protection, legal aid, health, lodging, etc.

Law 08-11 undermines refugees’ access to UNHCR offices by making it very difficult for them to reach the capital. In addition, the office in Alger is situated in a highly securitised embassy neighborhood; refugees wanting to reach the UNHCR offices often have to pass more than four police posts on their way. Two refugees met by an EMHRN delegation in June were sent away from the UNHCR office for not having an appointment slip, and were subsequently arrested by Algerian police on their second attempt. These difficulties, as well as the limited advantages UNHCR recognition brings in Algeria, has meant that many would-be refugees do not bother to apply for protection.

Migration is not a priority in Algeria at the moment, with other political developments taking precedence. The upside to this is that expulsions are not being systematically carried out, and deportations to Mali have not taken place since the border closure at the beginning of 2013. However, migrants and refugees remain vulnerable to any decision to crack down on irregular migration by the government and in the meantime live in precarious conditions. The EU’s externalisation policy and desire to conclude migration cooperation agreements with its Southern neighbours risks leading to further violations of migrant and refugee rights in the future.