Télécharger la revue - Église Catholique d'Algérie


Télécharger la revue - Église Catholique d'Algérie

egArds sur l'Algérie

A life of hardship

The Challenges faced by Sub-Saharan Migrants and Refugees in

People leave their countries of

origin for many reasons. Some

leave due to war, persecution and

violence whilst others leave due to

a very difficult economic situation.

Persons migrating towards Algeria are no different.

Whilst their reasons for arriving to Algeria may differ,

the hardships they suffer along the route to arrive

here and the tough conditions they must face in

the country are often the same. One big difference

is that whilst some can return to their countries of

origin, others cannot due to war, persecution or

a lack of means to return back home. Humiliation

on return and a feeling of having 'failed' is another

reason why people do not return back home

even when things do not turn out well in Algeria.

Most migrants in need of international protection

head to Algiers where they can apply for asylum

with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) which decides

who is entitled to international protection and who

is not. Those recognised as refugees are under the

protection of UNHCR and are given documents

and certain important rights and assistance.

Nevertheless, it is still very difficult for them to find

work and earn a livelihood. Importantly, the refugee

document protects people from being forcibly

sent back to their countries of origin or from being

deported to the south of the country.

The problem of access to work is one of the greatest

problems faced by migrants and refugees in Algeria.

No one is given the permission to work, so finding

regular work is almost impossible. Many end up


L’auteur est avocat, spécialisé dans les droits de l'homme et le droit d'asile.

Il travaille pour le Service jésuite des réfugiés (JRS). Une partie du travail du

Bureau européen de JRS est de sensibiliser l'Union européenne sur la situation

des réfugiés et des migrants en Afrique du Nord et de l'Ouest. En effet, décisions

et politiques de l'UE ont une influence directe sur la vie des migrants en transit

dans ces pays. Il est donc important que les décideurs européens aient cela

en tête lorsque des décisions sont prises. Andrew vient de parcourir l’Algérie

pour mieux connaître la situation de ces migrants. Il nous partage son regard 1 .

working unofficially and this often means that they

do not earn as much as locals and are not protected

by contracts. At times, employers take advantage of

this and do not pay the migrants for the work they

have done. The migrants cannot go and report this

to the police since they were not working legally and

could end up in trouble due to their general status

in the country. Difficulties in accessing work lead to

other serious problems such as accommodation.

It is very hard to pay for rent without a regular

job, so many persons end up living in very poor

conditions. Those who find no work often end up

squatting in unfinished buildings such as in the

neighbourhood of Boush Bouk or living in small

and crowded rooms with no privacy. Thankfully,

especially when accompanied by organisations,

1 Une traduction en français de cet article est disponible sur le

site eglise-catholique-algerie.org

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