The decision by the government to allow our refugee community to work is laudable.
I sincerely hope that this initiative will not be marred by uninformed Rela, police and
immigration personnel who - in the name of enforcement - tear documents which protect the right of stay of our refugee and forced migrant communities.
I have just been informed of a recent arrest and detention of a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) protected person. He was remanded for about a week. He had shown his UNHCR protection letter but the arresting police officer and those the Jalan Stadium police station assumed that it was forged.
He was then told that he is being investigated for forging UNHCR protection letters.
Every refugee and forced migrant faces this everyday dilemma of arrest and detention at will. There are instances where money will have to be paid to corrupt enforcement officers for freedom or even just to keep their papers.
I hope that the recent decision of the Home Ministry to allow refugees to work will be the first among many to help develop a comprehensive humanitarian policy for this marginalised community in our midst.