Gaza Strip Ranks Low on Refugee Treatment

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Byline: Cassie Fleming, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A report ranking the worst and best harbors for refugees branded Thailand, South Africa and the Gaza Strip as the most dire places for uprooted people, asylum seekers and foreigners.

The 2009 World Refugee Survey released Wednesday by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) recorded 13.6 million refugees in 2008, down from 14 million in 2007.

Eight million of them have lived for at least 10 years in warehouse conditions that deny refugees the right to work or move freely, said Lavinia Limon, president and chief executive of the private nonprofit group, which advocates refugee rights.

The largest warehoused group is Palestinians, who entered that status when Truman was president 60 years ago. Tibetans in Nepal have been stuck in camps since Eisenhower was president, and Eritrean refugees have been warehoused since Nixon, said Ms. Limon, who served as director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Clinton administration.

Malaysia, Kenya, Egypt and Turkey also topped the annual report's list of places that violated international refugee rights law.

Since 2004, the survey has graded refugees' physical protection, access to courts, freedom of movement and residence, and right to earn a livelihood. …