Organized by UNHCR in cooperation with UN Information Center and Yemen Times:Refugees’ conditions reviewed [Archives:2003/649/Local News]

July 10 2003

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
SANA'A_ Organized by UNHCR in collaboration with the United Nations Information Center and Yemen Times, a two-day training course for journalists on the status of refugees and immigrants and their human rights was concluded on July 7.
The course was inaugurated by H.E. Amatulaleem Al-Susuwah, Minister of Human Rights, who praised the efforts exerted by UNHCR and Yemen Times towards raising awareness in Yemen of issues concerning refugees and immigrants through journalists.
“Journalists are the messengers, whose influence on society is quite significant as their reports are used to disseminate information to the general public” she said.
“The national and international institutions should be responsible for implementing the necessary procedures and face urgent needs when receiving refugees.”
Al-Susuwa further noted the lack of awareness among Yemenis of human rights of refugees and immigrants results in the need for great efforts to enhance awareness and knowledge on all levels.
Mr. Saad Al-Attar, Resident Representative of UNHCR also gave a statement during the inauguration session. He focused in his speech on Yemen's role in receiving refugees in Yemen and how the authorities are dealing with more than 100,000 refugees currently in Yemen. He gave an overall assessment of the status of refugees and immigrants in Yemen and in the Arab world and asserted on the need to raise awareness of Yemeni journalists. “I can tell you that tens of articles written by journalist in Yemeni newspapers are full of factual errors. Wouldn't it be better if those journalists research more and contact UNHCR to avoid conveying wrong information?” he asked.
Mr. Walid Al-Saqqaf, Editor-in-chief of Yemen Times concluded the inauguration session by noting the importance of the workshop in raising awareness among journalists of refugees and their human rights and said that there is need to learn from and exchange expertise with countries that have similar refugee problems.
During the 2-day training course, lectures were delivered centering on refugees and a study dealt with the notion of refugees at the regional and international levels according to the United Nations conventions.
The event was primarily centered on the conventions and protocols related the status of refugees, immigrants and their relation to human rights based on international law.
During the first day of the training course, Mr. Khaled Fensa, the Legal Consultant of UNHCR in Yemen gave a comprehensive presentation about conventions, facts and figures about immigrants and refugees and their human rights according to international regulations adopted in most countries including Yemen.
On the second day, Dr. Al-Attar gave a lecture on the contemporary refugee problem in the Arab world with refugee admission and asylum procedures in a number of Arab countries including Yemen as case studies. Mr. Al-Attar later focused more on Yemen and procedures applied for asylum seekers and refugees in the country.
On the same day, Colonel Mohammed Al-Ozair, Head of the Refugee Department in the Immigration Authority gave a briefing about the government's responsibilities towards refugees and gave examples of steps implemented by the authority to overcome problems in this regard.
The workshop was concluded with a certificate-awarding session to all 28 journalists who participated in the event.