Voluntary return of Iraqi family puts shame on Croatian system of international protection

Discouraged by the long waiting period that follows the process of seeking international protection, and numbers of negative decisions that international protection seekers received in recent months, an Iraqi family with four children has decided to return back to Iraq.

It is worrying that in the 21st century signatories of the UN Convention on Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child tolerate a long duration and arbitrary decision-making within the process of seeking international protection. Such circumstances contribute to maintaining feelings of insecurity and fear for many individuals, families and children whom have found their place in Croatia after passing through the entire Balkan Route, and where they started off their lives while waiting a decision that will grant them international protection. It is truly sad that people from war-affected areas, some of whom are only a year old, make the decision to return to war-torn areas where their daily life is threatened, rather than living the agony of waiting and experiencing a treatment where EU Member States play ping pong with their lives.

On this year’s Tabor Film Festival/International Short Film Festival rich program, our initiative Good hosts found its place. During our campaign 283 people expressed solidarity and ensured guitars, amplifiers, keyboards and drums, canvas, brushes, and dyes, cameras and lenses for 12 creative people from the Centre for international protection seekers and SOS Children’s Villages. Furthermore, they also supported creative workshops, creative Children Camp and the quire DomaćiGosti. Within the festival some of the creative youngsters supported by the campaign will participate, and visitors will be able to see some of the exhibitions, the movie block “Acceptance Limits“, taste specialties prepared by Taste of Home, or get a tattoo made with henna.

On Saturday within Campaign for Intercultural Social Center a social-cultural event was held in Dugave. In a conversation on the topic “What kind of a neighbourhood we need” participants touched upon the expectations of their neighbours, fellow citizens and local self-government. In addition to the conversation, the festival had an entertaining content as well, that included the Living library, a creative workshop for children, a drum workshop, a children’s football, a bicycle repair and much more.

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