After a long and dangerous journey, often on-foot and across great distances such as the Sinai Desert, the next considerable challenge that an asylum seeker faces is the determination of his or her status as a refugee. However, while the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution is a human right enshrined in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the State of Israel is a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, it is a right that it is not yet fully protected in Israel today under domestic law.
Not all asylum seekers may apply for refugee status as there are two separate processing streams depending upon nationality. Sudanese and Eritrean citizens are collectively granted ‘temporary protection’ (offering only protection from deportation and no other rights) provided that they can establish their identity and nationality, whilst all other nationalities may seek refugee status through the ‘refugee status determination’ process (RSD). Applying for either temporary protection or refugee status is an extremely stressful process as its outcome may literally have life or death consequences. Those whose applications and appeals are rejected face deportation to their country of origin and the risk of further abuse and torture or even death.
ARDC assists individuals to receive protection through the following projects which are supported by the European Union and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Israel (January 2012 to June 2013).