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  • #31
    Finally, another population that fled in the initial phase were members of religious minorities, such as the Baha'is, and religio-ethnic groups, such as the Jews, Armenians, and Assyrians. Anticipating persecution, a disproportionate number of these marginalized populations left as soon as cracks appeared in the Pahlavi regime.

    A second phase of emigration took place after the revolution. Socialist and liberal elements were the first to leave, followed by young men who fled military service and the Iran-Iraq War, followed by young women and families, escaping overly confining gender restrictions. Having a daughter was a decisive factor in a family's decision to flee since the post-revolution era forced women to wear the veil, offered decreased educational possibilities, and enforced obedience to male kin.

    Because the second wave included large numbers of professionals, entrepreneurs, and academics, it accelerated the "brain drain," a term used to describe the emigration of a country's most educated and highly skilled for better opportunities in another country.

    According to the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, right before the revolution and subsequent closure of all the universities in 1980, there were 16,222 professors teaching in Iran's higher education institutions. When the universities reopened in 1982, this figure had plummeted to 9,042.

    Similarly, the Iran Times estimated that one out of every three (5,000) physicians and dentists left after the revolution. In addition to the reduction of manpower, studies estimate that the flight of capital from Iran shortly before and after the revolution is in the range of $30 to $40 billion.

    It is important to note that many members of both the first and second emigration waves did not consider their departure permanent. To the contrary, many locked up their homes, packed a few suitcases, and viewed leaving as a temporary sojourn from their lives back in Iran, which would resume when the revolutionary government was overturned. However, with time, the possibility of a permanent return has grown increasingly unlikely.

    Finally, a more recent third wave of emigration has surfaced over the last decade, from roughly 1995 to the present. This wave consists of two very distinct populations — highly skilled individuals leaving universities and research institutions, a continuation of a previous trend, and working-class labor migrants and economic refugees, sometimes with lower education levels and less transferable skills than previous emigrants.

    In the year 2000 alone, Iranians submitted 34,343 asylum applications, the highest rate since 1986. Unlike the two previous waves, this wave was caused by Iran's economic crisis, deteriorating human rights record, diminishing opportunities, and the enduring tension between reformist and conservative factions.

    While some manage to leave the country through illegal methods, such as being smuggled across the Turkish border, other asylees have adopted less common approaches such as converting to Christianity, fleeing Iran as a refugee, and then legitimizing an asylum application by explaining that conversion from Islam is considered an act of apostasy and punishable according to the Islamic Republic.

    At the end of 2005, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated there were 111,684 refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other persons of concern from Iran. The countries hosting the largest populations of Iranian refugees were Germany (39,904), the United States (20,541), Iraq (9,500), the United Kingdom (8,044), the Netherlands (6,597), and Canada (6,50.



    Comment


    • #32
      The distinctive characteristic of this wave is the rise of asylum applications lodged in Europe. In 2004, Iran ranked tenth among the top countries of origin for asylum seekers across Europe. Fifty-five percent of the total Iranian asylum applications in 2000 were submitted in Western European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Austria, and the Netherlands.

      In 2001 alone, there was a 300 percent increase in the number of Iranians seeking asylum in Britain. Furthermore, in 2004, Iran was the top nationality of asylum seekers to the UK, accounting for 10 percent of all applications. Preliminary observations indicate that these migrants often come from smaller provinces outside of Tehran and that they often face greater obstacles to integration in their host societies, especially in comparison to the relative successes of their more urban predecessors in those same countries.

      Given that European Union countries have made it difficult to obtain asylum, Iranians who are not recognized as refugees often go to another country, remain illegally in the country where they applied, or return to Iran.

      Characteristics of the Iranian Diaspora

      Diasporas are rarely homogenous groups, and the Iranian diaspora is no exception. Although the exact size of the diaspora remains unknown, a common yet disputed estimate of the diaspora's size is two to four million people. However, a compilation of the most recent national censuses from major receiving countries (excluding Turkey) supports a population in the range of one million (see Table 3).

      Regardless of size, the Iranian diaspora is extremely heterogeneous with respect to ethnicity, religion, social status, language, gender, political affiliation, education, legal status, and timing and motivation for departure (ranging from political to sociocultural to economic).

      In terms of ethnic origin, while the majority of the Iranian diaspora are Persian in origin, there are also large communities of Azeris, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmens, and Armenians. This ethnic diversity parallels linguistic heterogeneity, with large populations of Turkish-speaking Iranians. A religious divide also exists between the majority, who are Shi'ia Muslims, and the minority groups, such as the Baha'is, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Sunni Kurds.

      In the aftermath of the revolution, political divisions among supporters of the former Shah, groups such as the Mujaheddin, and apolitical groups intensified the competition among different visions for the future of Iran. However, as noted above, the heterogeneity of the diaspora is not a recent expression, but rather mirrors the internal diversity long rooted in the homeland. Exploring the diaspora population in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Israel sheds light on their highly varied characteristics and experiences.
      According to the most recent rounds of government census data, the largest number of Iranians outside of Iran reside in the United States, followed by Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Israel (see Table 3); the United States is home to more than three times the number of Iranian born living in Canada, the country with the next largest Iranian-born population.

      Yet it is important to note that members within the Iranian community claim their numbers are much larger than census data suggest. In the case of the United States, the US Census Bureau's decennial census form does not offer a designation for individuals of Iranian descent. Consequently, it is estimated that only a fraction of the total number of Iranians are writing in their ancestry.

      The Census Bureau estimates that the Iranian-American community (including the US-born children of the Iranian foreign born) numbers around 330,000. However, studies using alternative statistical methods have estimated the actual number of Iranian Americans in the range of 691,000 to 1.2 million.

      Given that the Iranian community in the United States is significantly larger than those in other countries, it is worth noting the distribution and characteristics of this particular population. Iranian Americans are most highly concentrated in California, which has a larger Iranian population than the next 20 states combined. Within California, most Iranians live in the Los Angeles area, dubbed Tehrangeles.

      Los Angeles has become a locus for the production and distribution of images, discourses, and representations of Iran. In fact, today there are 20 television and five radio stations broadcasting in Persian from Los Angeles to Iranians in the United States and Western Europe, and even to Iran, although such broadcasts in Iran's Islamic Republic are illegal. Cultural commodities, much of which are forbidden by the Islamic state, are exported from California to Iranians in other countries and even smuggled into Iran itself.

      According to the 2000 census, the Iranian ancestral group in the United States — meaning those who claim Iranian ancestry — is among the most highly educated in the country. More than one in four Iranian Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree or above, the highest rate among 67 ethnic groups, according to the Iranian Studies Group. In addition, their per capita average income is 50 percent higher than that of the US population overall.

      Like Iranians in the United States, Iranians in Canada are a highly skilled immigrant group with relatively high levels of education. In contrast to the US community, most of Canada's Iranian immigrants were admitted between 1996 and 2001. In addition to the political refugees of the second wave, in the 1990s a growing number of Iranians took advantage of Canada's point-based immigration system, migrating there as entrepreneurs and investors. In 1994, 12 percent of Iranian immigrants in Canada were entrepreneurs and investors.

      According to Canada's 2001 census, the Iranian-born population increased by 34 percent between 1996 (47,410) and 2001 (71,985). Among Canadian permanent residents from Africa and the Middle East, Iran consistently ranked as the top source country between 1995 and 2004.

      Flows to Sweden peaked in the second half of the 1980s. A harsher Swedish refugee policy instituted in the early 1990s reduced the number of Iranian asylum seekers. As a result, the majority of more recent immigrants to Sweden have come via family reunification. Also, in contrast to the diaspora groups in Canada and the United States, Iranians in Sweden suffer from a relatively high level of unemployment despite being highly educated and having middle-class, urban backgrounds.

      According to a 1996 study, Iranians had the fourth-highest rate of unemployment among ethnic groups in Sweden, largely the result of the labor market undervaluing and/or not recognizing their education and credentials. According to the 2004 Labor Force Survey, the unemployment rate among the Iranian foreign born in Sweden was 20.4 percent.

      As a result, many Iranians in Sweden have either turned to studying or self-employment. Discrimination in the labor market has been noted by the immigrants themselves as one of the greatest pushes towards Iranian self-employment in Sweden.


      Unlike other receiving countries, the Iranian Jewish diaspora in Israel is not a recent phenomenon. In fact, 41 percent of Iranians living in Israel in the early 1990s immigrated there before the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948; only 15 percent were admitted between 1975 and 1991, largely as a result of religious persecution.



      Comment


      • #33
        Remittances and Investments

        Based on World Bank World Development Indicators (WDI) data, Iranian workers' annual remittances, compensation of employees, and migration transfers back to Iran increased from $536 million in 2000 to $1.2 billion in 2003 and stood at $1 billion in 2004 (see Table 4). Workers' remittances and compensation of employees are comprised of current transfers by migrant workers and wages and salaries earned by nonresident workers.

        For the most part, official figures leave out all transfers occurring through informal channels. However, a 2003 International Monetary Fund paper estimated that more than half the total remittances to Iran were transmitted through a hawala system, an informal network of money dealers that offers faster and cheaper means of transfer than formal channels.
        Additionally, the Iranian government has sought to encourage foreign direct investment in Iran through enactment of the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act (FIPPA) in 2002. In an effort to liberalize policies relating to foreign investment, the act provided legal protections for foreign enterprises equivalent to those in place for domestic enterprises; it also offered extra-legal guarantees. Under FIPPA, there is no restriction on the destination of investment and no limit on the type of foreign capital invested.

        However, Iranian expatriates abroad remain wary of investing in Iran because of the regime's record of confiscating people's assets and the country's overall political instability. In 2000, the Iran Press Service reported that Iranian expatriates had invested about $200 to $400 billion in the United States, Europe, and China, but almost nothing in Iran. The Iranian government's efforts to encourage foreign investment from Iranians in the United States were thwarted in 1997 when President Bill Clinton issued an executive order prohibiting investments in Iran.

        The Endurance of the Brain Drain

        Twenty-seven years after the revolution, emigration of the highly skilled has intensified yet again. Though there have been periods of ebb and flow, the brain drain is one element that all of Iran's migratory waves have in common.

        In January 2006, the International Monetary Fund claimed that Iran ranks highest in brain drain among 91 developing and developed countries, with an estimated 150,000 to 180,000 educated people exiting per year. According to a 1999 study, the brain drain from Iran to the United States, measured by migration rates of the individuals with tertiary education, is the highest in Asia.

        The majority of those leaving are scientific scholars and university graduates. In fact, as many as four out of five of those who recently won awards in various international science Olympiads have chosen to emigrate to the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

        Among the factors contributing to the brain drain are economic well-being and better educational prospects abroad. The inability of the home country to respond to its citizens' needs, coupled with high unemployment rates and a general lack of intellectual and social security, all contribute to the brain drain. Additionally, self-censorship prevents people from thinking and writing freely, a limitation that makes both scientific and social science research extremely difficult.

        The intense demand for university seats in Iran also plays a key role. Of the approximately 1.5 million people who take exams annually, only an estimated 11 percent are accepted into a university. Even after acquiring an undergraduate degree, young people find there are few jobs available. According to official statistics, of the 270,000 university graduates entering the labor market each year, an estimated 75,000 can find jobs.

        In 2005, the national unemployment rate among the economically active was 11.5 percent; however, the unemployment rate among individuals under age 30 was 20.5 percent. Hidden in the statistics is massive underemployment, with the university educated frequently working in jobs well below their qualifications. Taken together with two demographic facts — 68 percent of the population was under the age of 30 according to the 1996 census and the median age in 2001 was 20.8 — the pattern of a young and highly educated brain drain is understandable.

        Since the election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2005, the number of Iranians petitioning for visas to European countries and the United States has increased an estimated 20 to 30 percent. Brain drain since 2005 is likely a result of hard currency outflows from Iran following Ahmadinejad's rise to power.

        As a free trade zone, Dubai has become the perfect place for Iranians to pursue business ventures that are otherwise too difficult in Iran given legislative barriers and economic conditions. In addition to investors, Dubai has attracted an estimated 9,000 Iranian students.

        The impact of the brain drain on Iran is wholly catastrophic. Estimates by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology indicate that the flight of human capital costs the government over $38 billion annually, two times the revenues received from selling oil. As a point of comparison, each inventor or scientist who leaves the country has the same economic impact as the destruction of 10 oil wells, according to a daily Iranian newspaper.

        Under the provisions of a five-year development plan, the country is trying to create jobs for its unemployed population, though the results of these efforts have not yet materialized. Consequently, the country remains unable to benefit from its educated diaspora or its pool of unemployed experts at home.

        Afghan and Iraqi Refugees

        Ironically, since the 1979 revolution, Iran has frequently topped the list of refugee-hosting countries. At the end of 2005, UNHCR estimated that Iran was host to the third-largest refugee population in the world, with a total of 716,000 refugees.

        However, at its peak in 1991, the refugee population exceeded four million, consisting of approximately three million Afghan refugees who first fled after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, as well as the 1.2 million Iraqis who left Iraq during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War and the subsequent Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991 (see Figure 1). According to the UN Population Division, refugees made up more than 92 percent of Iran's international migrant stock in 1990.



        Comment


        • #34
          By 2002, the Ministry of Interior estimated there were some 2.57 million immigrants in Iran, of which more than 90 percent (or 2.3 million) were Afghans. Iran also hosts some 30,000 refugees of various nationalities, including Tajiks, Bosnians, Azeris, Eritreans, Somalis, Bangladeshis, and Pakistanis.

          Afhgan Refugees

          Though Afghans have a long history of visiting Iran as migrant workers, pilgrims, or merchants, the Soviet invasion in 1979 was a turning point in Afghan migration to Iran, resulting in a population of three million refugees at its peak in 1991.

          Throughout the 1980s, Iran's open-door refugee policy allowed for arriving Afghans to be granted refugee status on a prima facie basis; Afghans received "blue cards" confirming their status as mohajerin, or people who seek exile for religious reasons. Although Iran was a signatory to both the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, it did not accord Afghans the status of refugees, long regarding its hospitality to Afghan refugees as a religious and humanitarian duty rather than a legal obligation.

          In theory, blue-card holders were granted indefinite permission of residence and social benefits, such as access to free education, health services, adult literacy training, and subsidies on basic essentials. In addition, refugees were permitted to work in one of 16 designated, menial occupations.

          However, widespread poverty in Afghan settlements suggests that perhaps the social benefits were not duly granted to everyone. Limited international assistance to Iran for Afghan refugees was partially a result of the increased tensions between Iran and the West following the 1979 revolution and the seizing of hostages at the US embassy during the same year.

          As a result, Iran has shouldered most of the burden of hosting, maintaining, and absorbing its refugee population. According to 2005 UNHCR estimates, only four percent of Iran's total refugee population was housed in designated camps. According to Iranian estimates, expenditures on all refugees totaled $20 billion from 1979 to 1995.

          Although UNHCR ultimately obtained some funds for Afghan refugees in Iran, the disparity between the amounts granted to Iran and Pakistan, the other major host of Afghan refugees, remained substantial throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

          In fact, between 1979 and 1997, UNHCR spent more than US$1 billion on Afghan refugees in Pakistan but only $150 million on those in Iran. In 1999 alone, the Iranian government estimated the cost of maintaining its refugee population at US$10 million per day, compared with the US$18 million UNHCR allocated for all of its operations in Iran in 1999.

          In the early 1990s, after the Soviet Union finally withdrew from Afghanistan, the government expected many Afghan refugees would return home. With shifting domestic, economic, and social concerns such as unemployment, Iranian law enforcement began to harass refugees, signaling a shift of Iran's refugee policy from one of reception and integration to more active intervention to prevent inflow and encourage repatriation.

          Since then, Iran has made repeated efforts to document and register Afghans in Iran in preparation for repatriation, implemented several deportation campaigns, incrementally reduced services to Afghans (particularly education and medical), and legislated employment restrictions.

          Since Afghans were not going home on their own, in December 1992 the Iranian government signed a three-year repatriation agreement with the government of Afghanistan and UNHCR to actively encourage return. Iran issued temporary registration cards to undocumented or newly arriving Afghan refugees, which granted them temporary legal status but also effectively placed them on a fast-track for repatriation.

          Throughout much of 1993, about 600,000 Afghans returned from Iran, over 300,000 of them under the assisted repatriation program. However, with a civil war taking place in Afghanistan (1992-1996), assisted repatriation from Iran effectively came to a halt. By 1994, Iran was receiving new flows of both Afghan refugees and economic migrants.

          In April 2002, after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of the Taliban, and the establishment of the Afghanistan Interim Authority (AIA), UNHCR's assisted repatriation program for Afghans returning from Iran began. Though it was initially meant to last for a year, it was later extended until March 2005 and recently again until March 2006. By September 2004, the most recent date for which numbers are available, one million Afghans had returned under the series of repatriation programs, in addition to almost 568,000 returnees who did not receive assistance.

          These figures do not account for the unquantifiable backflow of returnees who came back to Iran because of difficulties they encountered while reaching their home areas. Since 60 percent of the Afghan refugees in Iran have lived there for at least 15 years, returning home is difficult, particularly given the challenges faced when dealing with the Iranian court system in order to clear up outstanding legal issues and to finalize contractual obligations. Superior health care services in Iran also discourage repatriation.

          It is expected that in the coming years, the Iranian government will maintain pressure on both Afghan refugees and on UNHCR to continue the repatriation efforts. As of October 2005, fewer than one million Afghan refugees remained in Iran. They live mainly in the poorer neighborhoods of the major cities, with only two percent in camps, and they have received relatively little assistance from the international community.



          Comment


          • #35
            Iraqi Refugees

            Although Iraqi refugees come from various backgrounds, they can be divided into three main groups: Iraqi Shiite Muslim Arabs who were persecuted under Saddam Hussein, Sunni Muslim Kurds who fled Saddam's efforts to crush Kurdish autonomy, and Feili Kurds, Shiites who Saddam stripped of citizenship because their ancestors were from Iran. All fled Iraq to escape persecution under Saddam's regime.

            The first Iraqi refugees arrived in the 1970s, mainly when Saddam crushed a Kurdish rebellion in northern Iraq. The Feili Kurds (who are Shiite, unlike most Kurds, who are Sunni) were declared Iranian by Saddam, even though Iran considered them Iraqis. The deportation of Feili Kurds continued in the 1980s during the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.

            The greatest number (700,000) arrived following the Halabja crisis in 1988, when the Iraqi government used chemical weapons in the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja. Many members of this group returned home in 1992.

            The Iran-Iraq War also started the exodus of Iraqi Arabs, mostly Shias from southern and central Iraq. It culminated in the mass movement of 1.3 million Iraqis into Iran immediately after the 1991 Gulf War when Saddam issued a crackdown on Shiite rebellions in the south. While Iraqi Shiite Arabs congregated along Iran's southwestern border, Iraqi Kurds remained mostly in the northwest.

            The Iranian government has dealt with the Iraqi refugee population differently than with the Afghans. For example, while regulations passed in February 2004 restricted Afghan refugees' residence in certain cities and regions, limiting their ability to rent or own property, these rules did not apply to Iraqis.

            Furthermore, in 2004, when Iran imposed new restrictions that required Afghan refugees to hold work permits and that increased sanctions on employers who hired Afghans lacking work permits, these regulations did not apply to Iraqi refugees. This differential treatment may be due to the relatively larger size and prolonged presence of the Afghan refugee population relative to the Iraqis, as well as the perceived socioeconomic differences between the two populations.

            According to UNHCR, by September 2003 there were over 202,000 Iraqi refugees in Iran, composing over half of the entire Iraqi refugee population in the world. Though the majority lived in urban centers and settlements, about 50,000 were housed in 22 refugee camps, which are situated along the country's western border with Iraq.

            However, with more than 80 percent of them choosing to repatriate, Iraqi refugees staying in camps in Iran have demonstrated a higher rate of departure than those who settled in urban communities throughout the country. As a result, by the end of 2004, the overall camp population had decreased from 50,000 to 8,000, with six out of the 22 camps empty and many others near empty.

            Even though large numbers of Iraqis have repatriated, an entire generation of children born out of Iraqi-Iranian marriages —whose existence the authorities refuse to acknowledge — is now growing up in Iran. The illegality of marriages between Iraqis and Iranians, and the government's refusal to recognize their children point to an integration problem that the government must deal with.



            Comment


            • #36
              Internal Migration

              In addition to its international migration pattern, Iran also exhibits one of the steepest urban growth rates in the world according to the UN humanitarian information unit. According to 2005 population estimates, approximately 67 percent of Iran's population lives in urban areas, up from 27 percent in 1950. Among those living in urban areas, more than a quarter, or 12.2 million, live in the capital city, Tehran.

              The Iran-Iraq War contributed to rapid urban growth, as millions of IDPs headed for large towns and ultimately settled there. Another factor contributing to urban growth is a lack of investment (and hence few jobs) in rural areas due to the government's industrialization policies.

              In an effort to limit the high rates of urban growth, in 2003 the government launched a "reverse-migration initiative" in Iran's largest province, Khorasan. The five-year plan intends to regenerate rural areas by investing in local industries, agriculture, and public services. Depending on the success of this pilot scheme, the initiative may be implemented countrywide.

              For the time being, mass urbanization is partly to blame for the increased prevalence of slum areas, high unemployment rates, poor public services, and a depressed economy.

              Looking Ahead

              The migration story of Iran is not limited solely to the migrants and refugees themselves. Rather, through the popularity of Iranian cinema and the explosion of virtual communication, Iranians in Iran are increasingly connected to those in the diaspora and beyond.

              One of the most widespread and effective means of group expression for Iranians has become the creation of a virtual community through chat rooms and blog websites. Estimates suggest that Iran has more than 75,000 bloggers, making Persian the fourth most widely used language on blogs in the world. According to a June 2004 report by Reporters Without Borders, the Internet has grown faster in Iran than in any other Middle Eastern country since 2000.

              In particular, virtual communities will continue to play a key role in connecting the youth of Iran — an estimated two-thirds of the population — to their counterparts in the diaspora, many of whom were either born outside of Iran or left at a young age. The growth of this new social phenomenon will likely have an impact on future developments in the Islamic Republic.

              In the coming months and years, the Iranian government will need to concentrate on effective methods of encouraging investments and remittances back into Iran. It will also need to make more of a concerted effort in preventing further flight of the highly skilled.

              With the looming threat of organized international sanctions ahead, the government may need to focus on businesses beyond the petroleum sector. In all of these efforts and more, the disapora will undeniably play a significant role.

              Sources

              Adelkhah, Fariba and Zuzanna Olszewska. 2006. "Les Afghans Iraniens." Les Etudes du CERI No. 125. Centre d'etudes et de recherches internationales, Sciences Po, Paris.

              Ansari, Maboud. 1992. The Making of the Iranian Community in America. New York: Pardis Press, 127.

              Bozorgmehr, Mehdi. 2001. "No Solidarity: Iranians in the U.S." May 2. Available online.

              ---"Diaspora in the Postrevolutionary Period." Encyclopedia Iranica. Available online.

              Carrington, William J. and Enrica Detraiache. 1999. "How Extensive is the Brain Drain?" Finance and Development 36(2): 46-49.

              CIA World Factbook. 2006. "Iran." Available online.

              Dabrowska, Karen. 2001. "Hopeless, hapless, homeless, stateless: Iraqi refugees in Iran." October 25. Available online.

              El Qorchi, Mohammed, Samuel Munzele Maimbo, and John F. Wilson. 2003. "Informal Funds Transfer Systems: An Analysis of the Informal Hawala System." IMF Occasional Paper No. 222. Washington, DC: IMF.

              Esfandiari, Golnaz. 2004. "Iran: Coping with the World's Highest Rate of Brain Drain." March 8. Available online.

              Fathi, A. (ed.) 1991. Iranian Refugees and Exiles Since Khomeini, Calgary: Mazda Publishers.

              Graham, Mark and Shahram Khosravi. 1997. "Home is Where You Make it: Repatriation and Diaspora Culture among Iranians in Sweden." Journal of Refugee Studies 10(2): 115-133.

              International Consortium for Refugees in Iran. "Factsheet." Available online.

              IRIN News. 2003. "Iran: Focus on Reverse Migration." November 18. Available online.

              Khosravi, Shahram. 1999. "Displacement and entrepreneurship: Iranian small businesses in Stockholm." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 25(3): 493-508.

              Milani, Mohsen. 1998. The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution: From Monarchy to Islamic Republic. Oxford: Westview Press.

              Mostashari, Ali and Ali Khodamhosseini. 2004. "An Overview of Socioeconomic Characteristics of the Iranian-American Community based on the 2000 US Census." Iranian Studies Group at MIT. Available online.

              Open Doors. 1979/1980. International Education Exchange, (New York, NY: the Institute of International Education), pp. 11-13.

              Paydar, Majid. 1976. The Phenomenon of Iranian Students in the United States: Their Characteristics and Their Decision about Returning to Iran after Graduation. PhD dissertation: University of Utah.

              Rajaee, Bahram. 2000. "The politics of refugee policy in post-revolutionary Iran." The Middle East Journal 54(1): 44.

              Reporters Without Borders. 2004. "Internet Under Surveillance: Iran." Available online.

              Sakurai, Keiko. 2004. "University entrance examination and the making of an Islamic society in Iran: a study of the post-revolutionary Iranian approach to 'konkur.'" Iranian Studies 37(3): 385-406.

              Spellman, Kathryn. 2004. Religion and Nation: Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books.

              Sreberny, Annabelle. 2000. "Media and Diasporic Consciousness: An Exploration among Iranians in London." Ethnic Minorities and the Media: Changing Cultural Boundaries. S. Cottle, ed. pp. 179-196. Buckingham: Open University Press.

              The Canadian Encyclopedia. 2006. "Iranians." Available online.

              Torbat, Akbar E. "The Brain Drain from Iran to the United States," Middle East Journal 56(2): 272-295.

              Turton, David and Peter Marsden.2002. Taking Refugees for a Ride? The Politics of Refugee Return to Afghanistan. Available online.

              UNHCR. 2000. "Afghan Refugees in Pakistan and Iran." The State of the World's Refugees.
              Available online.

              US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. 2006. "World Refugee Survey: Risks and Rights." Available online.



              Comment


              • #37
                Since 911, the U.S. has quickly revamped policies relating to security. When the idea of Muslim profiling was raised, it caused a significant stir around the world.

                Profiling

                In the past, law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) have repeatedly investigated, stopped, questioned and in some cases searched individuals due to the colour of their skin, origin, gender, or sexual orientation.

                Profiling is not something that sprung up after 911, dedicated to "protect" us. It violates civil liberties and generalises by appearance. This method has now increased in intensity, expanding its scope into religion and origin.

                October 1, 2002, INS inspectors began land, sea and airport campaign allowing authorities to fingerprint, photograph and track visiting aliens who have traveled to Indonesia or Malaysia. Previously, INS inspectors were limited special screening visitors from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Syria.

                Religious Profiling

                The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been busy keeping up with racial and religious profiling cases after 911. Two examples:

                -- An Illinois National Guardsman and three private security personnel at O'Hare International Airport engaged in an unnecessary, unjustified, illegal and degrading search of a 22 year old United States citizen of Pakistani descent last November. Ms. Kaukab was identified and subjected to a humiliating search not because she posed any security threat, but only because her wearing of a hijab identified her as a Muslim. [1]

                -- Five men, including Michael Dasrath and Edgardo Cureg, had their civil rights violated when they were forced off of Continental Flight #1218 on New Year's Eve, after a fellow passenger stated "[the] brown men are behaving suspiciously." Five civil rights lawsuits were filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the men. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) is a co-plaintiff in three of the cases. The lawsuits were filed simultaneously in LA, MD, NJ and San Francisco. Four of the passengers are United States citizens and the fifth is a permanent legal resident.

                The ACLU writes, "We bring these lawsuits because, as a nation, we long ago settled the issue of discrimination. We declared it to be wrong, immoral, and contrary to fundamental American values. We also made it illegal. We decided that every individual should be allowed to participate in every aspect of American society, including in the American economy; to eat at restaurants and stay in hotels; to travel on buses and airplanes." [2]

                This treatment is not only racist, but it also violates the 4th Amendment which states that the authorities require probable cause prior to a search. Profiling also violates the 14th Amendment which ensures equal protection for everyone regardless of race.

                Hate Crimes

                Hate crimes are on the rise. The number of reported anti-Islamic crimes increased from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001. According to the FBI [3], the overall number of hate crimes increased dramatically from 8,063 in 2000 to 9,726 in 2001, signaling an increase of 20.6%.

                Racially motivated bias represented the largest percentage of bias related incidents at 44.9%, followed by ethnic/national origin bias at 21.6%. Religious based bias rose to 18.8% in 2001. The FBI currently does not collect statistics on anti-Arab or anti-Sikh hate crimes. Organisers of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)[4] and the Arab American Institute (AAI) report there have been over 200 incidents of abuse directed against Arab-Americans since 911.

                Does racial and religious profiling generalise?

                Those who are considered terrorists are of various ethnic and religious backgrounds and operate all around the world. High profile attacks such as 911 have brought U.S. attention on terrorists in or from the Middle East, and the U.S.State Department has identified many groups with Arab/Muslim connections - this does not mean only Arabs and Muslims are capable of terrorism.

                Racial profiling of Arabs would prove difficult because Arabs may have light skin and blue eyes to olive or dark skin and brown eyes. the U.S.has, at various times, classified Arab immigrants as African, Asian, European or white.

                They have roots spread over several countries such as parts or all of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Arabs are residing in Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Spain, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The Arab world of the 7th to the 13th centuries joined the peoples of Spain and North Africa in the west with the peoples of the ancient lands of Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia in the east.

                Past Events

                Take into account how America handled Pearl Harbour immediately following the bombing. Racial profiling allowed the wrangling of 120,313 Japanese-Americans persons during that period.

                According to the Japanese American National Museum's [5] fact sheet, Ellis Island along with several other immigration facilities was used as a detention and internment station for enemy aliens, under the authority of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It has been estimated that as many as 8,000 aliens spent time at Ellis Island between 1941-1945. Many of them were Japanese who, though living in the U.S. for decades, were forbidden to become citizens.

                Even in Canada, Japanese-Canadians were given only 24 hours notice to vacate their homes, before being sent to special sites where they were detained until proper camps were prepared for them. They were categorised as "enemy aliens" and uprooted from their homes and businesses. Their property, which included cameras, radios and watches, was confiscated for what the government considered to be "protective measures". By November of 1942 nearly 22,000 people were displaced. This was all due to racial profiling. [6]

                Consider also Operation Seek and Keep where Federal agents used racial profiling against Indians and Pakistanis during a high-profile investigation into immigrant smuggling in the 1990s.:

                "The purpose of Operation Seek and Keep was to dismantle a criminal network that was smuggling Indian nationals into the United States for illegal employment, thus preserving jobs for authorized U.S. workers. From a law enforcement perspective, this case has been unique in that the entire smuggling organization has been broken. International and domestic smugglers have been apprehended, closing down the smuggling pipeline. Employers who placed orders for illegal aliens and the illegal aliens are still being identified and apprehended". [7]

                This operation had taken in $220 million and smuggled 12,000 people, mostly from South Asia. The operation led to the indictments of more than 30 people.

                Violation of Amendment rights, media demonisation, denial of service, and an improved chance of being attacked by an angry hate monger: these "privileges" of citizenship in North America have been enjoyed by African-Americans for over a hundred years, by the Japanese-Americans during World War II, and today by
                Arab-Americans. Are you prepared to believe that it is for your own good? What happens when your skin colour, your God, or your headdress becomes the scapegoat of the day?



                Comment


                • #38
                  نمايندگان ‪ ۱۲۰‬كشور جهان از جمله ‪ ۹۰‬وزير، روز پنجشنبه در مقر سازمان ملل در نيويورك گردهم مي‌آيند تا درباره مهاجرت، يك بازنگري كنند.


                  "مهاجرت بين‌المللي و توسعه" عنوان اين نشست دو روزه خواهد بود.

                  "كوفي عنان" دبيركل سازمان ملل، در گزارشي كه به مناسبت آغاز اين نشست آماده كرده، گفته است: "ما هنوز به اولين مرحله يادگيري براي نحوه استفاده از مهاجرت براي توسعه رسيده‌ايم".

                  وي افزوده است كه هر كدام از اعضاي سازمان ملل به عنوان اجزاي يك معادله هستند كه تنها همه با هم مي‌توانند معماي مهاجرت را به نتيجه برسانند.

                  در گزارش عنان اشاره شده كه تخمين زده مي‌شود كه ‪ ۱۹۱‬ميليون نفر در كشورهايي به غير از محل تولد خود زندگي مي‌كنند. يك سوم اين افراد از كشورهاي در حال توسعه راهي كشورهاي توسعه يافته شده‌اند.

                  يك سوم ديگر از يك كشور در حال توسعه به كشور ديگر در حال توسعه رفته اند و بخش آخر نيز مربوط به افرادي است كه از كشورهاي توسعه يافته مهاجرت كرده‌اند.

                  برآوردها حكايت از آن دارد كه اين مهاجران در سال ‪ ۲۰۰۵‬ميلادي، حدود ‪ ۱۷۳‬ميليارد دلار به كشورهاي بومي خود ارسال كرده‌اند.

                  در كشورهاي توسعه يافته، مهاجران عمدتا عهده‌دار كارهايي مي‌شوند كه افراد بومي ميلي به انجام آن ندارند.

                  بر اساس همين گزارش سازمان ملل اين مهاجران به نظام بيمه و خدمات اجتماعي، جلوگيري از پيري جمعيت و رشد اقتصادي كشورهاي مهاجر پذير كمك شاياني مي‌كنند.

                  هياتهاي شركت‌ كننده در نشست نيويورك، درباره راههاي بالابردن مزاياي مهاجرت و كاهش ابعاد منفي آن، به بحث و گفت و گو خواهند پرداخت.

                  چگونگي ارسال درآمدهاي ناشي از اشتغال بكار در كشورهاي مقصد به كشورهاي مبدا از جمله مسايلي است كه در نشست امسال برگزار مي‌شود.

                  كارشناسان مي‌گويند مهاجرتهاي قانوني و غيرقانوني در سطح جهاني رو به افزايش بوده و مشكلات عديده‌اي را براي كشورهاي مبدا و مقصد ايجاد كرده است.

                  در حاشيه نشست امسال نيويورك درباره مهاجرت بين‌المللي و توسعه، چهار ميزگرد با موضوعات مرتبط با بحث اصلي نشست برگزار مي‌شود.

                  "اثرات مهاجرت بر توسعه اجتماعي و اقتصادي"، "حفاظت از حقوق مهاجران و پيشگيري و مقابله با انتقال غيرقانوني مهاجران و قاچاق انسانها"، ابعاد مختلف مهاجرت بين‌المللي و توسعه شامل ارسال درآمدهاي مهاجران از كشورهاي مقصد به مبدا" و "ارتقاء مشاركت و مبادله تجربيات در قالبهاي دو جانبه، منطقه‌اي و بين‌المللي به نفع دولت‌ها و مهاجران" موضوعات چهار ميزگرد مذكور است.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Iranian immigrants, especially those of my generation who happened to have raised a family away from the homeland, are doing all we can to familiarize the next generation with our ancient culture. This may be in part due to a strong attachment to tradition, but it may also be what we hope to be remembered by. Lucky are the parents who have succeeded to teach our beautiful language to their American-born children. But even among those who speak it fluently, there are many who have difficulty understanding a speech given in formal Persian. Mehrgan Foundation of San Diego is among the first cultural organizations to propose a solution for this problem.

                    The subject of this seminar was “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” Considering the low attendance rate of young people for these seminars over the previous years, and in an effort to lure them back, this year the speeches were offered in both English and Persian. And, oh, what a refreshing difference that seemed to make!

                    This was the fourth year of success for Mehrgan’s cultural seminars in San Diego. By now, the organizers know the ins and outs of their task and each year the programs tend to be richer and present a magnificent variety. Knowing it’s always on the Labor Day Weekend, more people had marked their calendars and planned ahead to spend the holiday in San Diego. Such overwhelming support was unprecedented and as a result, many presentations were left with standing room only.

                    This year, Mehrgan cultural seminar hosted twelve scholars from around the country, and the highly qualified speakers came in all ages. In addition, a variety of art shows, documentary films, poetry nights and entertainments were offered during the evenings. The audience was at awe during a superb performance by the master of Persian music, Mr. Abdolvahab Shahidi. The senior master proved that, like good wine, art only improves with age. Hadi Khorsandi made sure that late at night people were too busy laughing to bother with sleep and Ms. Shahui, a charming musician from China, was living proof of the fact that the Iranian Kamancheh has traveled the Silk Road to carry our music far beyond the borders.

                    The program began on Friday and extended all the way to Monday afternoon. Enjoying a cut rate at the magnificent Grand Hyatt Hotel by the ocean, Iranians paid a minimal fee to participate in the entire package of programs. Putting the barriers of age, religion, politics and social differences behind, more than six hundred attended without the least amount of disruption. The unity and friendly interaction among the guests, the respectful conduct of everyone who attended, and the support that Mehregan received was enough to believe that this annual program is here to stay.

                    After months of hard work and while we prepared to wrap up to go home, a friend asked me, “You worked too hard for this, how come your name was not mentioned?” To which
                    I responded, “This isn’t about making a name.”
                    “No?” she said with disbelief. “Then what’s in it for you?”
                    I smiled and said, “Most of us help simply to get the job done. It’s about passing the torch to our children. It may be only one torch, but the flame won’t go very far unless many hands help along the way. Mine just happened to be one.”



                    Comment


                    • #40
                      آن طور كه در نشست مهاجرت و توسعه در سازمان ملل اعلام شد ، بلژيك سال آتي ميزبان نخستين نشست جهاني با موضوع مهاجرت خواهد بود.

                      "كوفي عنان " دبير كل سازمان‌ملل روز پنجشنبه در مراسم گشايش نشست مهاجرت و توسعه از پيشنهاد بلژيك براي ميزباني اولين نشست جهاني مهاجرت استقبال كرد.

                      بيش از ‪ ۱۴۰‬نفر از نمايندگان كشورها و سازمانهاي مختلف دولتي و غيردولتي در نشست دو روزه مهاجرت و توسعه در سازمان ملل سخنراني خواهند كرد.

                      گزارش‌هايي كه روز پنجشنبه در مقر سازمان ملل منتشر شد ، حكايت از آن دارد كه حدود ‪ ۱۹۱‬ميليون نفر كه سه درصد كل جمعيت جهان را تشكيل مي‌دهند ،در كشوري به غير كشور زادگاه خود زندگي مي‌كنند.

                      يكي از مشكلات مهاجرت كه رييس مجمع عمومي و دبير كل سازمان ملل نيز به آن اشاره كردند اين است كه بخش عمده كساني كه براي كار به كشورهاي توسعه يافته مي‌روند فارغ التحصيلان دانشگاه هستند و بدون مهاجرت قدرت كار در كشورهاي توسعه يافته از سال ‪ ۲۰۱۰‬سير نزولي خواهد داشت.

                      همچنين نتيجه سرشماري كه در ‪ ۲۲۸‬كشور توسط سازمان ملل انجام شده نشان مي‌دهد كه آمريكا با ‪ ۳۸‬ميليون ،بيشترين شمار مهاجر را در خود جاي داده است. اين رقم ‪ ۱۳‬درصد جمعيت اين كشور را تشكيل مي‌دهد.

                      در عين حال نسبت مهاجرين در استراليا به جمعيت بومي آن كشور ‪۱۹/۶‬ درصد و در كانادا ‪ ۱۸/۹‬درصد است .

                      قاره اروپا ‪ ۶۴‬ميليون مهاجر و آمريكاي شمالي ‪ ۴۵‬ميليون مهاجرپذيرفته‌اند.

                      غرب آسيا و كشورهاي نفت خيز آن نيز ‪ ۲۲‬ميليون مهاجر را درخود جاي داده‌اند.

                      تقريبا نيمي از مهاجران زنان هستندكه اين درصد در كشورهاي توسعه‌يافته بيشتر است.

                      سازمان ملل تخمين زده كه درآمد اين مهاجرين حدود ‪ ۵۰۰‬ميليارد دلار در سال باشد.

                      طبق گزارشهايي كه در نخستين روز نشست مهاجرت و توسعه در سازمان ملل منتشر شد، بر خلاف اين كه تنشهايي در بسياري از كشورها ديده مي‌شود بيش از نيمي از دولتها پذيرش مهاجرين را به روال قبلي ادامه مي‌دهند.

                      حتي شش درصد از كشورها خواهان پذيرش شمار بيشتري مهاجر هستند.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        نمايندگان ‪ ۱۲۰‬كشور جهان از جمله ‪ ۹۰‬وزير، روز پنجشنبه با هدف بازنگري در بحث مهاجرت و توسعه، در مقر سازمان ملل در نيويورك گردهم آمدند.


                        نشست "مهاجرت بين‌المللي و توسعه" به رياست خانم هيا راشد آل خليفه رييس جديد مجمع عمومي سازمان ملل گشايش يافت.

                        قرار بود از ايران نيز مصطفي پورمحمدي وزير كشور دراين اجلاس شركت كند كه آمريكا بر خلاف توافقنامه خود با سازمان ملل، هنوز ويزاي وي را صادر نكرده است.

                        اين نشست روز جمعه به كار خود پايان مي‌دهد.

                        خانم آل خليفه در اين نشست در خصوص اهميت موضوع مهاجرت در برهه كنوني و ارتباط آن با توسعه سخن گفت و تصريح نمود كه در اين عرصه نياز به يك راهبرد ملي و منطقه‌اي و جهاني احساس مي‌شود.

                        كوفي عنان دبيركل سازمان ملل نيز در اين نشست گزارشي را در خصوص اهميت توجه به بحث مهاجرت ارائه داد و تكرار كرد كه تخمين زده مي‌شود ‪ ۱۹۱‬ميليون نفر در كشورهايي به غير از محل تولد خود زندگي مي‌كنند. يك سوم اين افراد از كشورهاي در حال توسعه راهي كشورهاي توسعه يافته شده‌اند.

                        يك سوم ديگر، از يك كشور در حال توسعه به كشور ديگر در حال توسعه رفته و بخش آخر نيز مربوط به افرادي است كه از كشورهاي توسعه يافته مهاجرت كرده‌اند.

                        برآوردها حكايت از آن دارد كه اين مهاجران در سال ‪ ۲۰۰۵‬ميلادي، حدود ‪ ۱۷۳‬ميليارد دلار به كشورهاي بومي خود ارسال كرده‌اند.

                        عنان افزود : سه دليل در اين برهه وجود دارد كه توجه به بحث مهاجرت را ضروري مي‌سازد كه اولين دليل آن، درگير شدن عمده كشورها با موضوع مهاجرت است.

                        "افزايش منافع ناشي از مهاجرت براي كشورهاي مهاجرپذير و مهاجر فرست" و "تغيير نگاه‌ها به موضوع مهاجرت و ذكر اينكه مهاجرت نه يك تهديد كه يك فرصت است" از ديگر دلايلي بود كه به آن اشاره شد.

                        هيات‌هاي شركت‌ كننده در نشست نيويورك، در ادامه درباره راه‌هاي بالابردن مزاياي مهاجرت و كاهش ابعاد منفي آن به بحث و گفت وگو پرداختند.

                        چگونگي ارسال درآمدهاي ناشي از اشتغال بكار در كشورهاي مقصد به كشورهاي مبدا از جمله مسايلي است كه در نشست امسال برگزار مي‌شود.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          'Suitcase' examines shades of immigrants' dislocation

                          The skewed-perspective, distressed-concrete room is as uninviting as it is anonymous. As each character enters -- distressed suitcase, briefcase or hat box clutched in one hand -- the door slams shut with a bang, re-echoed with the finality of a loud metallic clang. The psychological dislocation of the immigrant takes on the physical form of a "No Exit" antechamber to the unknown in Darvag Theater's "Suitcase (Chaméda-n)" at Intersection for the Arts.
                          The experience is universal, but the particular immigrant group that inspired Farhad Ayeesh's drama, as the program explains, was "the Iranian community in exile" in the Bay Area in the 1980s. Ayeesh, who has since returned to Iran (where he works in theater, TV and film), wrote "Suitcase" in Farsi for the East Bay Iranian American Darvag company he helped found in 1985. One of the group's early signature works, it's being staged in English for the first time in co-founder Bella Warda's cryptic translation.

                          It's a generally intriguing show, at times comic, evocative or affecting. Despite the "No Exit" look of Ali Dadgar's set, Ayeesh's script is more influenced by Ionesco than Sartre. But "Suitcase" uses Ionesco's absurdism to illuminate the experience of being displaced.

                          With a multicultural cast of 14 and enhanced production values, it's also a fairly ambitious undertaking, presented in partnership with Golden Thread Productions and co-directed by Jim Cave (who designed the mood-enhancing lights) and Darvag's Mansour Taeed (founder of the Iranian American children's theater Javane). The size of the cast is significant. The first arrivals enter singly, confused, lost, warily circling each other. It's only as family units begin to arrive, and the stage fills with still-perplexed newcomers, that a loose, tentative community takes shape -- with enough cohesion to inform a man who shows up speaking a different language that he's in the wrong room.

                          All of the characters have generic names. Some display different degrees of dislocation, such as the Psychiatrist (Emlyn Guiney), who can't remember her diagnostic terms. Some cling desperately to their families, as do the Tailor (Steven Ortiz), his scarf-clutching wife (Mojdeh Molavi) and child-man son (Erick Casanova). Others -- a haughty Elegant Lady (Firouzeh Farah), arrogant Colonel (Kevin Wm. Meyer) and his class-conscious wife (Suha Araj) -- try hard to assert their old-country privileged status.

                          Mysterious drones in Azi Vajravai's sound design, or shifts in the lights, unsettle the immigrants. Casual interactions develop into subplots, cleverly staged so that they emerge subtly from the general confusion. Youthful curiosity evolves into tender romance and a perhaps problematic marriage between Casanova's confused Tailor's Son and a magnetic Sahar Hojat as the Colonel's Daughter. A little girl (Shapari Samimi and Tara Taeed at alternate performances) is the only one who notices the suitcases everyone else clutches, until the adults convince her that she's mistaken.

                          The cultural baggage is real, of course, sometimes interfering with the characters' attempts to bond, but always kept closed. In one particularly astute scene, the wedding guests try fruitlessly to move or clap along to traditional Iranian music, their bodies only coming alive to the strains of a Mexican wedding tune.

                          Apart from that, though -- and Ortiz's energetic mime of the legend of the ancient Persian warrior Rostam -- there are few specific cultural references in "Suitcase." The drama is as universal as the immigrant experience that continues to define this country. Ayeesh's use of absurdism may be a bit schematic, and too obvious in his final depiction of the unifying role of the artist. But his "Suitcase" is pretty well packed.



                          Comment


                          • #43
                            مردم کشور سوئيس، روز يکشنبه، 24 سپتامبر، برای تصميم گيری در مورد قانون جديد پناهندگی در اين کشور به پای صندوق های رای رفته اند. سازمان ملل متحد می گويد وضع اين قانون می تواند کنوانسيون ژنو در ارتباط با پناهندگان را نقض کند.
                            دولت سوئيس می گويد که اين قانون جديد سوء استفاده از نظام پناهندگی در اين کشور را کاهش می دهد.

                            اين مقررات تازه، در صورت تصويب، از پناهجويان می خواهد برای تعيين هويت خود مدارک معتبر را ارائه دهند و کمک هزينه های بهزيستی آن دسته از کسانی که تقاضای پناهندگی شان رد شده است قطع خواهد شد و تا پيش از اخراج از کشور سوئيس تا دو سال احتمالا در بازداشت خواهند بود.

                            "شورای پناهندگان سوئيس" می گويد اين مقررات بيش از حد سخت گيرانه است به ويژه در زمانی که شمار متقاضيان پناهندگی به اين کشور به پايين ترين حد خود در بيست سال گذشته رسيده است.

                            يورگ شرتنليب، از اعضای اين شورا، گفت: "تاثير چنين قانونی احتمالا اين خواهد بود که تقاضای عده ای پناهجوی واقعی با مشکل مواجه شده و حتی رد شود."

                            اولين آمار به دست آمده از نتيجه همه پرسی روز يکشنبه در سوئيس حاکی از حمايت مردم از وضع قانون جديد پناهندگی است.

                            حقوق کودکان

                            ايموجين فوکس، گزارشگر بی بی سی در شهر برن سوئيس، می گويد که سوئيس مانند بسياری ديگر از کشورهای اروپايی حاضر نيست که از نظام سنتی پناهجويی در اين کشور سوء استفاده شود.

                            اين گزارشگر می گويد در سوئيس، مانند بقيه کشورها، پرونده هايی وجود دارد که دليل تقاضای برای پناهجويی فرار از شکنجه و آزار و اذيت نبوده بلکه فقط جستجو برای يک زندگی بهتر بوده است.

                            کريستوف بلوخر، وزير دادگستری سوئيس که اين قانون را پيشنهاد کرده است، می گويد "بهشتی به نام سوئيس" برای همه، جا ندارد.

                            به گفته گزارشگر بی بی سی احساسات آقای بلوخر منعکس کننده اذهان عمومی در سوئيس است.

                            با اين حال، بسياری نگران هستند که وضع کردن چنين مقرراتی در سوئيس به وجهه سنتی اين کشور به عنوان کشوری بشردوست و سخاوتمند آسيب برساند.

                            آژانس پناهندگان سازمان ملل متحد قانون جديد سوئيس را مورد انتقاد شديد قرار داده است و گفته که بخش عمده ای از پناهجويان نمی توانند در عرض 48 ساعت مدرک شناسايی معتبر ارائه دهند چون آنها معمولا اين گونه مدارک را ندارند.

                            گروهی ديگر از مخالفان قانون جديد پناهندگی در سوئيس می گويد که نگهداری پناهجويان اخراجی در بازداشتگاه ها، که شامل کودکان نيز می شود و ممکن است تا دو سال به طول انجامد، ناقض کنوانسيون سازمان ملل در ارتباط با حقوق کودکان است.




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                            • #44
                              موضوع مهاجرت اساسا يك تم تازه ای نيست از بدو پيدايش زندگی‌اجتماعی‌انسانها برای زندگی بهتر مدام در حال جابجائی‌ بوده و بتناسب وسع خود به مناطق دور و يانزديك كوچ كرده اند هر چقدر جامعه انسانی بزرگتر شد و امكانات محلی كه در آن زندگی بهتر ميسر بود تراكم جمعيت بيشتر شد و اين مكانها تبديل به شهرك ها و يا شهر شدند ماندگاری ‌در اين شهرها را بيشتر شد.
                              درارتباط با همديگر زبانها هم رشد كردند و فرهنگ های تازه با توجه به تجارب جوامع بوجود آمدند كه هنوز اين تكاپو وتلاش ادامه دارد و تا زمانی كه بشريت موجود است اين رشد و جابجائی ادامه خواهد داشت و انسانها را از آن گريزی نيست.
                              در ابتدا جمعيتهای اجتماعی ‌كوچك بودند و امكانات طبيعی‌ اين اجازه را ميداد آنها خود را آزادانه به محيطهای ‌بهتر كه عمدتا شامل آب و خاك و زمين مسطح خوب برای كشاورزی ميشد برسانند رشد جمعيت و بلايای طبيعی گاه گداری‌اين مناسبات را بهم ميزد و ميبايست تلاشی تازه آغاز ميشد.
                              با رشد شهركها و ارتباطات بيشتر بين گروه های‌اجتماعی‌ و مشكلات طبيع‍ی انسانها را باجبار بهم نزديك كرد و بدين ترتيب كشورها پا بعرصه وجود گذاشتند و از اين تاريخ جنگ و جدلها برای ‌تصاحب مناطق حاصل خيزو پر آب آغاز شدو بشر جنگ بی پايانی را برای بدست آوردن امكانات بيشتر آغاز كرد كه با وجود تلاشهای ‌فراوان در عرصه های مختلف هنوز هم جنگ و جدال ببهانه های مختلف ادامه دارد .
                              تا پيش از ايجاد كشورها مهاجرت آزادانه شكل طبيعی داشت با تشكيل كشورها بر محدوديت آنها افزوده شد و تا آنجا پيش رفت كه امروزه تمامی كشورها قوانين محدود كننده ای در اين باره باجرا گذاشته اند و برای جابجائی انسانها هزاران محدوديت ايجاد كرده اند و تا آنجا مسئله را پيش برده اند كه اين موضوع وسيله ای برای فشار به طرف مقابل و ابزاری در رقابتهای ‌جهانی برای كنترل منابع طبيعی و نيروی كار انسانی ‌شده است.
                              قرن گذشته بدون شك تا بامروز بالاترين مهاجرين را بخود ديده است مليونها نفر به قاره آمريكا از جمله به آمريكا و كانادا و استراليا و نيوزيلند كوچ كرده اند و از آسيا و آفريقا نيز تعداد زيادی باميد زندگی بهتر به اروپا نقل و مكان كردند كه امروزه اكثريت قريب باتفاق آنها در گتو های فرانسه و آلمان و انگليس و سوئدو ساير كشورها بزندگی بخور نمير ادامه ميدهند.
                              مهاجرين از نيمه دوم قرن گذشته مستقيما بعنوان ابزاری برای فشار بطرف مقابل از طرف قدرتهای ‌بزرگ وارد كارزار رقابت شدند كوچ اجباری بصورت گسترده در ابتدا بكمك انگلستان و فرانسه در سرزمين فلسطين اتفاق افتاد مليونها نفر فلسطينی مجبور به ترك خانه و كاشانه خود شدند و با آوردن اجباری مهاجران يهودكه از طرف كشورهای‌اروپای غربی ‌مغذوب شده بودند و مليونها نفر از آنها را توسط دولت نازی‌آلمان به كوره های آدم سوزی فرستاده بودند جايگزين فلسطينی ها كردند كه بيك مسئله پيچيده و بغرنج جهانی تبديل شده است
                              كمی ‌ديرتر آمريكا باتفاق متحدين خود در جنوب شرقی آسيا كوشش كرد مليونها نفر از مردم را بفرار تشويق كند تا سيستم اجتماعی ‌كشورهای جنوب شرقی آسيا را بهم بريزد بخش بزرگی از مردم جنوب آسيا كه در آمريكا زندگی ‌ميكنند در همين دوره وارد آمريكا شدند.
                              شدت اين بهم ريختگی اجتماعی ‌خود را در جنگ افغانستان پس از تجاوز شوروی ‌باين كشور نشان ميدهد كه آمريكا با تمام امكانات مليونها نفر از مردم اين كشور را با سرمايه كلان به پاكستان و ايران كشيد و تقريبا بافت جامعه افغانستان را برای هميشه بهم ريخت و هنوز مشخص نيست كه اين كشور چه سر نوشتی خواهد داشت.
                              مهاجرت و اقتصاد
                              با رشد توليد و پيشرفت تكنيك در سطح جهان نياز به نيروی كار ارزان بيك ضرورت برای كشورهای ‌صنعتی ‌بخصوص كشورهای غربی تبديل شد اين كشورها نياز به نيروی كار ارزان و جوان داشتند تا بتوانند تسمه نقاله های توليدی خودرا بگردش در آورند اين كشورها داوطلبانه مليونها نفر از مردم عادی ‌و جوان را به غرب آوردندكه در حال حاضر در آلمان بيش از دوونيم مليون از تركيه و كمی ‌كمتر از آن از يوگسلاوی ‌سابق و بيش از نهصد هزار نفر از يونان مشغول كارو بهمين نسبت در فرانسه و انگليس و ساير نقاط اروپا هستند.
                              چند سالی است كه كشورهای غربی از جمله آمريكا و انگليس و فرانسه و آلمان دبه در آورده و اعلام ميكنند كه اين كارگران مهاجر ديگر بدرد جوامع غربی نميخورند و بايد جای آنها را جوانهای ‌تحصيل كرده بگيرند كه البته منظور آنها اين نيست كه جوانها را به كشورهای خود بكشانند و اول آنها را به دانشگاهها بفرستند تا فارغ التحصيل شوند و سپس از آنها استفاده كنند بلكه هدف از اين سياست كشيدن افراد تحصيل كرده كشورهای جهان سوم است كه هزينه تحصيلات آنها را كشورها ی جوانانی ‌كه آز آنجا آمده اند تقبل كرده باشند و اينها فقط از آنها بهره برداری ‌كنند اين سياست اگر سالها است از طرف آمريكا و استراليا و كانادا و نيوزيلند اجرا ميشود سال گذشته بتصويب اتحاديه اروپا هم رسيد.
                              آنها ميگويند تكنيك جديد به مهارت و تحصيلات بالا احتياج دارد در آمريكا 73% تمامی ‌تحصيل كرده های شاغل خارجی هستند در ضمن كشورهای‌اروپائی‌ باندازه كافی‌ جوان ندارند كه جانشين نيروی ‌كار و بازدهی بالای ‌جوانان جهان سوم بكنند اگر اين سياست بمرحله عمل در آيد بمعنی جريان خون تازه به اين كشورها و لاغر و بی خون شدن كشورهای جهان سوم خواهد بود.
                              مهاجرين ايرانی‌ در خارج از كشور
                              مهاجرت ايرانيها اگر چه بطور محدود پس از جنگ جهانی‌ اول شروع شد و قصد مهاجران عمدتا تحصيلات بوده و لی ‌پس از جنگ جهانی ‌دوم اين مهاجرت شتاب بيشتری گرفت و امروز ه بيش از سه مليون ايرانی در خارج كشور زندگی ميكنند كه بيش از 50% آنها در آمريكا و كانادا و بخش بزرگی در اروپا و كشورهای همسايه ايران مثلا در دوبی بيش از 20% مردم ايرانی تبارند و حتی ‌در هندوستان و ژاپن و مالزی‌ زندگی ميكنند ايرانيها تنها در آمريكا صاحب بيش از 400 ميليارد دلار سرمايه هستند و در مجمع بيش از 40% ايرانيهای آمريكا حداقل مدرك ليسانس دارند و مشاغل مختلفی‌ را اداره ميكنند آماری كه از روزنامه های ايران منتشر ميشود حاكی‌از وجود بيش از 300 شركت بزرگ ايرانی در آمريكاست در كانادا نيز ايرانيها دست بالا را دارند.
                              تنها در آلمان ايرانيها صاحب بيش از 40 ميليارد يوروسرمايه هستند و در دوبی نيز در حدود 5 ميليارد دلارسرمايه را بخود اختصاص داده اند و در انگلستان هم دوميليارد دلار سرمايه را از آن خود كرده اند در ساير كشورهای اروپائی و آسيائی ‌نيز ايرانيها صاحب ثروت كلانی‌هستند و اگر همه آنها را با هم در يك كاسه بريزيم چيزی در حدود 500 تا 600 ميليارد دلار خواهد شد.
                              ارتباط ايرانيهای مهاجر با كشور ايران
                              مقامات دولت ايران اعلام كرده اند كه بيش از 95 % تمامی‌ ايرانيهای خارج از كشور بنحوی ‌با ايران رابطه داشته و با سفارت خانه های ايران در تماس بوده و علاقه زيادی نشان ميدهند كه دانش و تجربه و مهارت خود را بايران منتقل كنند و يا در ايران سرمايه گزاری كنند و بهمين دليل پيشنهاداتی در اين زمينه به مقامات ايرانی‌ ارائه داده و حتی ‌جلسات متعددی‌ نيز در اروپا و آمريكا بر گزار كرده اند.
                              در مجموع ايرانيها ‌مقيم خارج را ميشود به گروهای ‌زير تقسيم كرد
                              - مهاجرانی كه با سرمايه اوليه كافی از ايران خارج شده و از اين طريق اجازه اقامت گرفته اند اين مهاجران بيشتر به آمريكا و كانادا و استراليا و نيوزيلند و انگلستان و تا حدودی نيز به فرانسه و اسپانيا كوچ كرده اند اين مهاجرت از بعداز جنگ جهانی دوم همچنان ادامه دارد .
                              - ايرانيانی كه جهت تحصيلات بخارج كوچ كرده اند تعداد اين مهاجران پس از سالهای‌1350 بسرعت افزايش يافت و تا سال 1357 به 165000 نفر رسيد دانشجويانی كه امكانات مالی ‌داشتند به آمريكا و انگلستان رفتند در آن دوره بالاترين سهم دانشجورا آمريكا داشت و بسياری از اين افراد از امكانات دولتی و يا از بورس تحصيلی بر خوردار بودند.
                              - گروه ديگِری از جوانان كه از امكانات مالی بر خوردار نبودند بيشتر به آلمان وايتاليا رفتند تا هم كار كنند و هم درس بخوانند اين گروه بيشتر از خانواده های ‌متوسط به پائين بوده و اكثريت آنها هم بعلت مشغله كاری ‌موفق بادامه تحصيل نشدند و بخش بزرگی از آنها نيز در سنين بالا شروع به تحصيل كردند كه با توجه به مشكل زبان و كار ادامه تحصيل برای آنها چندان آسان نبود.
                              - تعداد زيادی دانشجوی مهاجر به تركيه و هندوستان برای تحصيل رفتند چون در اين دوكشور هزينه تحصيل پائين بوده و از پس مخارج آن بر می آمدند در تركيه بيشتر ايرانيها از آذربايجان بودندو مشكل زبان بآن صورت نداشتند.
                              - مهاجرين پناهنده خود يك معمای ديگری است تعداد زيادی از ايرانيهای ‌دانشجو بخصوص در اروپا كه در كنفدراسيون های ‌دانشجوئی‌ متشكل بودند پس از انقلاب به ايران باز گشتند و تصور آنها اين بود كه ميتوانند براحتی آمال و آرزوهای خود را بعمل در آورند تعداد زيادی از اين دانشجو های ‌حرفه ای كه ساليان سال برای اقامت گرفتن و ماندن در كشورهای مربوطه در دانشگاه ثبت نام ميكردند با مواجه شدن با اولين مشكلات شوكه شدند واز آنجا كه از جامعه ايران شناختی نداشتند تنها پس از چند ماه به كشورهای ‌مقيم دانشجوئی ‌خود باز گشتند و پس از شدت گرفتن تضادهای جامعه برای كسب قدرت و تصميم قطعی ‌رژيم برای يك پارچه كردن خود و مهار سازمان ها و در نهايت سركوب آنها بخصوص در سال 1362 تا 1367 بخش ديگری هم كه هنوز اميدوار بود تا ورق برگردد بلاخره تصميم به خروج از كشور گرفت مشكل بزرگ اين گروه بهمراه تعداد ديگری كه تا آن موقع در خارج نبودند اقامت قانونی بود اين مهاجرت مصادف شد با شدت تضادهای جهانی‌ و بكش بكش نيروها بشدت ادامه داشت و هر كشوری در تلاش جذب نيرو بود و از طرفی اروپا مدتی ‌بود كه به توليد انبوه رو آورده بود و احتياج مبرم به نيروی كار داشت و از طرف ديگر برای بی ثبات كردن اروپای شرقی‌ بهر كسی كه وارد كشورهای‌غربی بخصوص از شرق و ايران می آمدند پناهندگی ‌ميداد در نتيجه موقعيتی برای ايرانی ها بوجود آمد تا وارد كشورهای غربی بشوند و از آنجا كه آلمان و سوئد دوكشوری ‌بودند كه بهمراه اقامت امكانات مالی ( پوشش خدمات اجتماعی ) نيز در اختيار پناهندگان ميگذاشتند بيشتر ايرانيهای پناهنده سياسی باين دوكشور كوچ كردند.
                              - آلمان شرقی هم برای ‌زير فشار گذاشتن آلمان غربی حتی‌ پناهندگان بدون پاسپورت را از طريق فرودگاه مستقيما وارد برلن غربی ميكرد كه تنها شهر آزاد اروپا بود و هنوز در كنترل كامل كشورهای متفق يعنی‌آمريكا و انگليس و فرانسه و شوروی بود و پناهندگان از اين شهر بسوی كشورهای‌ مورد دلخواه خود روان ميشدند در مجموع تعداد پناهندگان سياسی كه واقعا متعلق به سازمانها ی ‌موجود در ايران باشند زياد نبود بايد اقرار كرد كه سازمانها چندان نيروئی در ايران نداشتند .
                              - مهاجرين اقتصادی و اجتماعی اين گروه مهاجران در صد بالائی را تشكيل ميدهند بيشتر اين مهاجران بخاطر جنگ ايران و عراق از كشور خارج شدند و اميدوار بودند خود و فرزندانشان را نجات دهند سماجت رژيم برای ادامه جنگ تعداد اين افراد را افزايش داد اين گروه تقريبا با بر باد دادن تمام زحمات چندين ساله خود و خانواده باميد زندگی ‌بهتر راهی كشورهای غربی شدند و از آنجا كه مشكل اقامت داشتند هم از طرف حكومتهای ‌كشورهای غربی و هم از طرف سازمانهاو گروه های‌ايرانی ‌از هر قماش آن مورد سوء استفاده قرار گرفتند و همين گروه پس از گرفتن اقامت و بمحض اطلاع از اينكه ميتواند پاسپورت ايرانی بگيرد اقدام به گرفتن آن كرده و راهی‌ايران شدند رژيم ايران اعلام كرده است بيش از 95 % ايرانيهای خارج كشور پاسپورت گرفته اند و بايران رفت و آمد ميكنند




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                              • #45
                                آيا ارتباط ايرانيها مقيم خارج با داخل كار سياسی است ؟
                                اين سئوالی‌است كه بايد روی آن بيشتر مكث كرد از مدتها قبل بازهم تعدادی از سازمانها و گروه ها افرادی را كه بايران ميروند مورد تاخت و تاز قرار داده و اين كار را خيانت و جنايت اطلاق ميكنند سوال اين است كه آيا اين ارتباط ورفت و آمد ها دانش طرفين را افزايش نميدهد ؟ اين ديدو بازديدها باعث نميشود كه انسانها از همديگر ياد بگيرند آيا كار سياسی فقط آن است كه فقط نق بزنيم و فوش بدهيم و بهمه طرف حمله بكنيم ؟ مگر نه اين است كه برای تغيير و تحول بايد در بين مردم بودو با آنها ارتباط مستقيم بر قرار كرد.
                                موقعيتی پيش آمد تا در چند جلسه عمومی شركت بكنم در هر چند جلسه سرو كله آدمهای مشخصی پيدا ميشد كه كوشش ميكردند جلسه را بهم بزنند آنها حتی ‌كار را بآنجا كشاندند كه برای ‌شنوندگان تعيين تكليف ميكردند كه نبايد باين جلسات بروند و سخنرانی را گوش كنند اين نوع بر خوردها كه اساسا از طرف آنارشيستها و بنام چپ ها و يا بنام انقلابی باجرا در می آيد نه مردم را و نه شنوندگان را بلكه خود اين افراد و سازمانها را نه تنها منفرد ميكند بلكه آنها را از دست يابی به تجارب و دانش اكثريت باز ميدارد.
                                اكثريت در جلسات اين افراد و سرگذشت آنها را خوب ميشناسند و بهمين خاطر چندان اعتنائی ‌بآنها نميكنند ولی‌ بدست آوردن اعتماد شنونده ای ‌كه اين بر خورد ها را ديده است كار آسانی نيست بهمين دليل هرروز كه ميگذرد نيروهای ‌مقاومت پايگاه و نيروی خود را از دست ميدهند و تاثيری در روند اوضاع ندارد.
                                مهاجرين ايرانی خارج از كشور حق دارند با تجاربی ‌كه دارند شيوه زندگی و مناسبات اجتماعی و سياسی خود را حل كنند و هيچ كس حق ندارد در زندگی‌اجتماعی ‌و سياسی و شخصی آنها دخالت كند و برای آنها تعيين تكليف كند مبارزه سياسی يك امر آزادانه و داوطلبانه است شركت در يك كار سياسی تنها در همكاری ‌با سازمانها و احزاب نيست بلكه هر آنكس كه قدمی برای بهبود زندگی خودش و خانواده اش و برای اطرافيان بر ميدارد و اصولا قادر است بتنهائی ‌مشكلات روزمره خود را حل كند يك فرد سياسی است.

                                كسی كه بتواند با همت كار و دانش خودش زندگی ‌شخصی خود را اداره كند ارزشش صدها و حتی‌ هزاران بار بيشتراز يك حراف و پر مدعا با هرعقيده ای است كه هميشه آويزان ديگران است و عملكردش نه اينكه كمكی ‌به تشكل نميكند بلكه مخل آن است.
                                رابطه مهاجرين ايرانی‌ با داخل كشورمان را واقعا بفال نيك بگيريم و كوشش كنيم ارتباط تنگاتنگی‌ با آنها بر قرار كنيم تا با اوضاع ايران بيشتر آشنا بشويم اين حق هر ايرانی‌است كه هرموقع اراده كرد به كشورش باز گردد و يا از آن خارج شود اگر پديده ها را نشناسيم قادر به تغيير آن نخواهيم بود مبارزه در ايران و در جهان همچنان ادامه دارد چه با ما و چه بدون ما اگر بخواهيم در آن تاثير بگذاريم بايد سرمان را پائين بيندازيم و عميقا بمردم احترام بگزاريم و از آنها ياد بگيريم و در خدمتشان باشيم تجربه زندگی‌اكثريت قريب باتفاق ايرانيان خارج از كشور نشان ميدهد زندگی اجتماعی و اقتصادی و فرهنگی و هنری و خدمات و ارتباطات هم زندگی سياسی است كه واقعا اين مردم هستند كه جهان را تغيير ميدهند اين آن تجربه است كه تاريخ مبارزات روزمره توده ها بما می آموزد .




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