Migrant Story: Migrants tell of torture and rape in Yemen
Eighty thousand Ethiopians risk their lives every year trying to get to Saudi Arabia and the promise of a better life. They are smuggled in boats across the Red Sea to Yemen and then must trek 500km (310 miles) to reach the Saudi border.
But it is a journey fraught with danger where thousands are tortured and sexually exploited by criminal gangs, as Yalda Hakim reports for BBC Newsnight.
Oromia: Video presentation about Human Rights Abuses
Saturday 7th May, 2011 marked the most exciting political event for Australian Oromo people. The Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria created an event for politicians at a national level, and national government services to meet with the Oromo people; to learn of the Oromo people’s message and to facilitate a face-to-face consultation.
Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne represents one of the highest levels of government in the Melbourne region, accompanied by representatives of Australia’s largest social security body (Centrelink), Australian Migrant Education Resource Service (AMES), Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and local Mayor sat down to listen to the community present the story of the community.
Over 600 Oromo people came to this event, so successful, there was no room to sit and people sat outside the jampacked hallway, eagerly waiting to hear the words of our people being taught to the highest political representatives of the Australian community.
Oromia:Human Rights Violations Against Oromo Nation
Mr. Tony Beasley, a representative from The Advocates for Human Rights, a Minnesota-based human rights group, speaks at the 4th Oromo Awareness Day at the University of Minnesota (UMN) on April 9, 2012 about the human rights violations against the Oromo nation by the TPLF regime, whose military occupation of Oromiyaa began in 1991.
Some of the violated human rights of the Oromo people include the right to self-determination, the right to work (in which, in several cases, Oromo job-seekers are forced to change their Afan-Oromo names and hide their Oromo-ness in order to get jobs), the right to education, and the right to take part in cultural life (it’s to be noted that Macha-Tulama Association’s leaders and supporters are currently in prison for promoting Oromo culture and historyhttp://gadaa.com/oduu/11478/2011/10/2… ). The representative also mentioned about the ongoing land-grabbing by the TPLF regime and foreign governments.
Former Ethiopian President Negasso Gidada visits the USA to discuss human rights issues with Oromo American citizens.
Persecuted in Ethiopia: Hunted in Hargeisa
Refugees from Ethiopia and officials of NGOs and governments were interviewed in Somaliland and Djibouti in November and December 2011. Formal interviews with 43 refugees, including 17 in Hargeisa, confirmed other reports that a high proportion of refugees from Ethiopia give histories of torture.
Twenty one of the 43 interviewees (49%), including 13 of the 17 interviewed in Hargeisa (76%), had been tortured. Many instances of killing and rape by Ethiopian government forces were reported.
Somaliland officials and journalists claim that refugees from Ethiopia are at best economic migrants; at worst criminals and terrorists. Simplistic portrayal of immigrants as economic migrants ignores life-threatening destitution which is a direct result of Ethiopian government policies and the deliberate targeting of government critics for economic sanctions.
Because of the cooperation between Somaliland and Ethiopia, perceived critics and opponents of the Ethiopian regime are not given safe haven as refugees in Somaliland. Refoulement of refugees and asylum-seekers continues and UNHCR has proved ineffective in preventing this. Seven individuals were taken back to Ethiopia by combined units of Ethiopian and Somaliland forces between 25 October 2011 and 3 January 2012.
Refugee status determination and registration of asylum-seekers has been stalled since 2008. UNHCR recognises 1660 refugees and several thousand asylum-seekers. Recognised refugees were given monthly allowances of $40-80 per family by UNHCR and were given access to supplementary feeding, primary education and limited medical help at the Social Welfare Centre, provided by Save the Children under contract to UNHCR.
Djibouti: destitution and fear for refugees from Ethiopia
Refugees from Ethiopia and officials of NGOs and governments were interviewed in Somaliland and Djibouti in November and December 2011. Formal interviews with 43 refugees, including 26 in Djibouti, confirmed other reports that a high proportion of refugees from Ethiopia have been tortured.
Twenty one of the 43 interviewees (49%), including eight of the 26 interviewed in Djibouti, had been tortured. Every male former detainee (17) and four out of six female former detainees had been tortured-91% of 23 former detainees. At least four of the six female former detainees were serially and multiply raped.
Three more, two when aged 11-14, were raped by Ethiopian security forces in or near their homes. Interviewees reported 34 killings of close relatives and friends by Ethiopian security forces and the deaths of 94 in horrific circumstances in detention. One gave an eye-
witness account of the Weter massacre, where he reported 1000 were shot dead in 1992.
There are several hundred registered asylum-seekers in Djibouti city and several thousand undocumented immigrants from Ethiopia. Registration, which was resumed for new applicants in 2010, affords a degree of protection from police roundups and the threat of
deportation to Ethiopia. Refoulement of large numbers of registered asylum-seekers and UNHCR mandate refugees is now less common, due to better training of the Djibouti police by UNHCR.
However, refoulement of at least 25 Oromo and Ogadeni asylum-seekers and refugees occurred between November 2010 and January 2011. Eye-witness accounts corroborate claims that these men and women were abducted by snatch squads consisting of Djibouti and Ethiopian security forces.
Advocacy for Oromia was established in 2010 with the purpose of enabling and empowering Oromo people by providing accurate and timely information that will help to make better choices to create the kind of future in which they wish to live.
It also provides information focus on the major issues facing us in the 21st century and it is going to try and bring a balanced approach with factual information that is positive and solution based.
The website has been in operation for the last nine years with the mission of promoting and advancing causes of Oromo people through advocacy, community education, information service, capacity building, awareness raising and promotion.
The website is also the official site of Advocacy for Oromia Association in Victoria Australia Inc., a non-profit organisation, registered under the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 in Victoria as April 2014.
Our team already had considerable community development experience and expertise. Our various projects helped to develop our confidence and the capacity of our agency. Our team used every gained knowledge, skills and experiences as an opportunity to design and develop new approaches, to documenting progress, supporting positive employment outcomes, liaising with community stakeholders, and conduct evaluation.
Advocacy for Oromia is devoted to establishing Advocacy for Oromia organisation to close the gaps where we can stand for people who are disadvantaged and speaking out on their behalf in a way that represents the best interests of them. We are committed to supporting positive settlement and employment outcomes for Victoria’s Oromo community.
Advocacy for Oromia Office
39 Clow St,
Dandenong VIC 3175
247-251 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Springvale Neighbourhood House Inc
Address: 46-50 Queens Ave, Springvale VIC 3171
P. O. Box 150
Noble Park, Vic 3174
With your support, we can continue to help community build a better future.
Advocacy for Oromia Mental Health Program
The aim of the program is to improving the mental health and well-being of Oromo community in Victoria. It aims to assist those experiencing, mental ill-health, their families and carers of all ages within this community to address the social determinants of mental health for Oromo community. It helps:
Identify and build protective factors,
Reduce stigma and discrimination
Build capacity for self-determination
Better understand mental wellbeing, mental ill-health and the impacts of trauma
The goal of the project is to increase mental health literacy of Oromo community that aims:
To assist people with mental health issues
To increase the capacity of mental health worker
To better understand mental wellbeing
To provide mental health education and information
To address the social and cultural causes of mental health issues
Advocacy for Oromia will organise information session, women performance, radio programs, culturally adopted conversations on Oromo Coffee Drinking ceremony, providing training for mental health guides and forum and producing educational materials on the selected groups and geographical area.
Human Rights Education Program
The Human Rights Education Program is a community based human rights program designed to develop an understanding of everyone’s common responsibility to make human rights a reality in each community.
Human rights can only be achieved through an informed and continued demand by people for their protection. Human rights education promotes values, beliefs and attitudes that encourage all individuals to uphold their own rights and those of others.
The aim of the program is to build an understanding and appreciation for human rights through learning about rights and learning through rights. We aimed at building a universal culture of human rights. Thus, we aimed:
To build an understanding and appreciation for human rights through learning about rights and learning through rights.
To build capacities and sharing good practice in the area of human rights education and training
To develop human rights education and training materials and resources
The goal of the project is to increase human rights literacy of Oromo community that aims:
To better understand human rights
To increase the capacity of human rights worker
To analyse situations in human rights terms
To provide human rights education and information
To develop solidarity
To strategize and implement appropriate responses to injustice.
The ultimate goal of education for human rights is empowerment, giving people the knowledge and skills to take control of their own lives and the decisions that affect them.
Human rights education constitutes an essential contribution to the long-term prevention of human rights abuses and represents an important investment in the endeavour to achieve a just society in which all human rights of all persons are valued and respected.
Advocacy for Oromia will organise information session, performance, radio programs, culturally adopted conversations on Oromo Coffee Drinking ceremony, providing training for Human Rights guides and forum and producing educational materials on the selected groups and geographical area.
Community Safety Program
The program aims to strengthen existing collaborations and identify opportunities for the development of partnerships aimed at community safety and crime prevention activities. This approach seeks to improve the individual and collective quality of life by addressing concerns regarding the wider physical and social environment. Importantly, community safety means addressing fear of crime and perceptions of safety as without this any actions to address the occurrence of crime and anti-social behaviour are of less value.
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