The problem is no organization makes a decisions on our case. We go to the UNHCR and their process seems unlimited – I personally gave up, after 38 monthly appointment slips, because I simply couldn’t spare the MTR fee to be delayed without a deadline. It seem that for them: no decision means no responsibility – they just wash their hands of us. We go to Immigration and again there is no decision and no answers. They make us wait for months which turn into years and we just feel paralyzed. We don’t trust their words because they are empty promises, never followed up with action. Some asylum-seekers registered in 2002 and are still waiting. Others arrived in 2004 and haven’t had their first interview. A rights lawyer brought 43 cases to the Court of Appeal under CIL (Customary International Law), the case was refused and again there was no solution. People wait for years and years because without a decision they don’t know how to solve their problem.
If they were given a clear “NO WAY” they would immediately look someplace else as nobody wants their life to be parked like the hundreds of rusting bicycles in this photo.If only the responsible organizations, gave us a negative decision then we would pursue other channels, for example take our case to other consulates for individual assistance. However these consulates will not consider our case as long as we have an open files with UNHCR and ID – so we are stuck between hopelessness and despair. We really want to try something else to solve our problems instead of watching the years go by, penniless because it’s illegal to work. Why do they even allow us to enter Hong Kong when we don’t have a chance to survive? We can’t even leave unless deported home, from where we escaped in the first place for fear of persecution. It’s so frustrating … if Hong Kong really wants to solve the problem of asylum-seekers they need clear polices to deal with the 6,800 cases. Or close the door to fake arrivals who treat the city as work heaven for a few years closing their case and returning home. One guy said “This Asylum-seeker paper is better than a Refugee certificate as I can work for a few years and then go home!”
Dabihu 28, East Africa