Burmese women at risk in Delhi PDF Print E-mail
Burmese Women Delhi, a network of refugee women, describes the situation for Burmese women today in Delhi:

Various national newspapers reported the rape case of one of our Burmese woman at the Kalawati Sharan Hospital, New Delhi. We would like to share more on this. The Burmese Women Delhi (BWD) met with the victim.

We learned that the victim reported the matter to the UNHCR's Women Protection Centre located at Ashalatpur, Janakpuri after few days of the incident. However it was many days later of having reported the incident that the staff of Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC) along with the police came to the house of the victim to take down her statement. (SLIC is one of the Implementing Partners of UNHCR.)

What is disturbing is that SLIC did not consult with the victim and her family before bringing the police to her home. Another day, SLIC and the police took the womam to the hospital so that she could show the place where the incident occurred.

When the police and media people visited the rented room of the victim, many Indian neighbours gathered around the house. Such kind of attention has made both the victim and family uncomfortable to go out in the nieghbourhood now. The house owner has also asked the family to move out of the house.

We are disheartened that SLIC did not take any protective measures for the victim before the matter was reported to the police nor any kind of support after this was made known to the police and media.

SLIC may be working as Implementing Partners of UNHCR but SLIC is an Indian Organisation. We expect them to know how to protect rape victims before making it public. Otherwise as refugees, we don't have any knowledge how to deal with the situation here in India.

The Burmese refugees in Delhi are under the UNHCR mandate and protection. But what kind of protection is this?

We fled our country Burma for fear of our lives and lack of human dignity and are seeking refuge in India. As you all know that rape has been used as a weapon to subjugate the democracy loving people in Burma by the Military Regime.

We never thought that we will meet the same fate here in India that had compelled us to leave our country. We fled our country so that we could live with human dignity but our dignity has been stipped off here too.

This incident is the tip of the iceberg. Many of us are sexually molested and harassed at workplace and also when we go to pick up the thrown away vegtables at the weekly market.

We don't know what to do in this kind of situation - were to go, how to go about. But we just wanted to share with you our situation here in Delhi.

Last Updated ( Aug 26, 2009 at 10:00 AM )