At the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council the Prevention Association of Social Harms (P.A.S.H.) issued a statement on refugee’s problems in Iran, which was read out by the representative of the Association at the scene of the Council. This statement is as follows:
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to host one of the largest and most protracted refugee populations of the world including Afghan and Iraqi refugees, only 3% of which live in camps. The high number of refugees has caused challenges in their education, livelihood and medical care.
With regards to education, in 2015, the Supreme Leader, said in an edit, that no Afghan child, not even the undocumented migrants, must be deprived of education. The result was the registration of 77,000 documented and undocumented children at schools in 2015 alone.
In the livelihood area, refugees in the working age must officially apply for work permits. But due to the limited number of permitted jobs, most of them have difficulties finding jobs.
Universal Health Insurance which began in 2011 with the cooperation of the UNHCR, covers over 120,000 people which includes those suffering from special diseases; although one of the vulnerable groups are still not in the programme.
- The Iranian government must make organized efforts for refugees to have access to more jobs in order to improve their livelihood conditions
- In view of the Supreme Leader’s edict with regards to children’s education, there is further need to construct new schools. International assistance can help the continuation of children’s registration at schools.
- There should be an increase in the number of refugees covered Universal Public Health Insurance which will notably reduce their health problems.
- Sanctions that negatively affect the livelihood of refugees must be lifted. The sanctions increase the illegal movement of refugees to western countries.