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Refugee Application

QUESTION

I would like to seek assistance on the refugee application of my brother who had been working and maltreated by police officers in the Philippines. In addition, how much is the fee for this kind of service? Thank you .

– Maria

ANSWER

Regarding your question, please find my comment and answer below:

1. What is refugee on the Immigration Act?

As you know, the word “refugee” can be seen in newspapers, television, etc. Some cases are refugees who escaped war and starvation, or economic situation. And others are refugees of the Convention on the Status of Refugees in 1951 and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1967. So, these are also contained in the “refugee” in a broader sense. However, the “refugee” stipulated in the Japanese Immigration Act is just only the person (what is called a “Convention refugee”) who corresponds to the definition of Article 1-A-(2) of the Convention on the Status of Refugees in 1951 and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees in 1967 (hereinafter called it “Convention”).

Therefore, others who are called a “refugee,” such a person who escaped war and starvation, or the economic situation from his own country are not contained in the “Convention refugee.”

2. The definition of “Convention”

I am sure you can find the “Convention” in the library, and the meaning of refugee is specified in the first article A-(2) on the Convention as follows:

“(2 ) As a result of events occurring before January 1, 1951 and owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

In the case of a person who has more than one nationality, the term “the country of his nationality” shall mean each of the countries of which he is a national, and a person shall not be deemed to be lacking the protection of the country of his nationality if, without any valid reason based on well-founded fear, he has not availed himself of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a national.”

3. Interpretation of the definition on the Convention

As you can see, there are five important points in this article as follows:

1) Well-founded fear of persecution

What is the subject (name of an organization/a group) which is persecuting him?

Moreover, what is this subject persecuting as a basis, and does his fear exist the well-founded fear of being persecuted?
In addition to that, although it is not necessary to tell repeatedly, can he substantiate or prove these things?

2) Reasons of persecution

What is the reason for persecution? On Convention, the reason is limited to five items. These are race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group, and political opinion. Therefore, no other reasons correspond to the Convention refugee.

3) Present residence

Is he now outside the country of his nationality?

4) Protection of his country

This is the most important point. Is he unable to receive the protection of his country owing to such fear, or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of his country owing to such fear?

5) Possibility of homecoming

Moreover, is he unable or unwilling to return to his country owing to such fear?

That is, he has to correspond to all the above-mentioned definitions in order to be granted his application as a refugee, and there must be nothing at least one lack. As you see, main points are existence of “Well – founded fear of persecution”, “Reasons of persecution”, and “Protection of his country”.

First, your brother has to substantiate and prove a concrete phenomenon and example about the “Well – founded fear of persecution.” While clarifying the organization (example: name of ministries or offices in the government organization) which has been persecuting him and the concrete name or title of a person on that occasion, he has to prove what kind of persecution was performed, and he also has to state the contents and to that extent in detail.

Subsequently, referring to the “Reasons of persecution,” there are so many examples seen in the application cases until now. For example, “I received harassment from the head of a Barangay captain”, “the murder preliminary announcement was carried out from IS group in Marawi city,” “I was noticed from the police office by having stolen the fishnet,” “I am followed as a suspect of the murder case which occurred in the neighborhood” etc.

However, these reasons described as “a reason for persecution” are unrelated to five reasons specified in the Convention. As for these, it is not correspondent to the “Reason of persecution” in the Convention. Furthermore, when it would relate with “Protection of the country of its nationality” which is mentioned later, it is obvious that they are not Convention refugee.

Finally, regarding to the last one “Protection of his country,” he has to substantiate and prove the “lack of protection by the country of his nationality,” which means that any protection is not given, either from his own country government.

For example, when a passport has been already delivered to your brother from the Philippine government and he can visit Japan using his passport, he would not be corresponded to a refugee since the grant of a passport is typically one of protections by the country government and he had already received the protection of his country. It means, although it is surprising, that no applicants of Filipino in the past were admitted as a refugee since they do not correspond to the definition of the Convention. In other words, it can be concluded that they are called as the “Camouflaged refugees” since they are those who made the refugee application pretending to be the refugee since he would like to reside and to set a work in Japan.


Office name: Miyoshi International Legal Counsel Office

Telephone/Fax (Japanese/English): 090-1436-4107(Mobile phone)

E-mail: miyoshi@ipcworld.co.jp or joshua-galasha@mvg.biglobe.ne.jp (Japanese/English) OR p-digest@ipcworld.co.jp(English/Tagalog)

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