email@example.com – an emergency contact for refugees in distress
Support in case of attacks or discrimination in refugee shelters (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has established an email-helpline for members of ethnic or religious minorities. Anyone who is harassed, discriminated against, or threatened due to his/her religious belief – possibly by other refugees in refugee shelters – can call for help by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, as the human rights organization announced on Monday. Every message will be considered and treated with discretion. In severe cases, according measures will be taken – if necessary also taking the victims’ religious belief into account, whether they are Christians, Yazidis, Muslims or members of smaller religious communities. The Protestant Church has already announced to provide support for the STP. Thus, the Aid Center for Protestant Pastors in Berlin and other Christian organizations have started to build up a network for quick relief – and organizations of other religious communities are supposed to join.
The STP decided to establish the email-helpline because of several reports about conflicts between refugees of different ethnic groups and religious communities, which the people are worried about. “Members of ethnic and religious minorities should not be confronted with hostility and enmities as they often are in their countries of origin,” said the STP’s Middle East Consultant, Kamal Sido. “We are aware that the tense situation in the refugee shelters, concerns about relatives who were left behind, as well as the long days without meaningful things to do can be irritating for the refugees. Thus, it is all the more important to offer victims a point of contact to turn to in case of conflicts, anonymously.”
The STP is planning to systematically collect reports of affected refugees, to neutrally examine and evaluate them. “An objective, well-founded data basis on the actual events is necessary to develop effective strategies for conflict avoidance and to provide effective assistance,” Sido said.
The STP has published the address email@example.com on its website and via social media, but has also distributed leaflets in refugee camps – in English, German, French, Kurdish, Aramaic, Arabic, Serbian, Albanian and Farsi.
Header Foto: Tanja Wieczorek