by Satomi Toba
Through the classes, I’ve learned that the difficulties which undocumented people experienced in their ‘home’ country. As we watched in a documentary film, those people cannot be supplied driving license, national health insurance. In Japan, there is another big burden: more than anything else, those people are not allowed to work while the application for refugee status term. It means that they cannot earn money for their living cost. Then, how can they live under the harsh situation? After I think about this, I come up with two ideas. In this report, I’ll try to write down my opinions over the big, important issue.
I know that those undocumented people, refugees have stayed a country illegally, usually without formal extended visa. Thus, they originally break the law. At the same time, they were exiled their native country because of some political problems and they couldn’t get formal documents regarding their refugee status from the government. It is also applied to their passport. If they get their own passport through ‘black’ route, to stop an inflow of refugees seems to be mostly impossible. It is out of a country’s responsibility. Then, what is a responsibility that the host country has to take? I think it is to take care about the refugees healthy. We must not overlook that they are human beings as we are. They have a right to live like we do. That is why I think the health insurance should be enjoyed by all people.
The second point is not regarding government, but that there are some nonprofit organizations which help refugees in Japan. For example, there is an organization, called Japan Association for Refugees (JAR). That organization holds lectures about refugees in Japan for university students and supports them by making a network in refugee’s neighborhood. Relationships with other people have big meanings for refugees, because most of them don’t have any relatives in the host country and in an emergency case, they cannot ask help to the others. To reinforce the connection, we, the receiving country’s people will be better to learn more about refugees. As I knew little about them before I joined this class, there will be a lot of people who don’t know well or don’t have interests in them. I think this big issue won’t be solved until the society is changed by supports from as much as many people.
Japan Association for Refugees: http://www.refugee.or.jp/