How to Prepare Your RSD Interview (1)
The purpose of the interview is for the UNHCR to decide if you are a refugee under the 1951 Convention or the extended mandate definition. Here’s some suggestion that you may take in order to prepare your interview with UNHCR;
The Refugee Convention Definition
To remind you about the definition of who a refugee is, it comes from Article 1A of the 1951 Refugee Convention.
Article 1A (2) says that a refugee is a person who:
- “owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion,
- is outside the country of his nationality and
- is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country;
- or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his or her habitual residence, is unable, or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
ABOUT YOUR REFUGEE STATUS DETERMINATION INTERVIEW;
Your interview is an important opportunity for you to provide information to the UNHCR.
The UNHCR will be trying to find out:
- why you left your country of origin and why you are afraid to return
- what might happen to you if you returned
- why you have been targeted
- whether what has happened to you amounts to persecution, and
- whether that persecution was on the basis of one of the five Convention grounds, or
- whether you are fleeing generalised violence, rather than targeted persecution
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW;
- If you are a woman and cannot tell your whole story in front of men, contact the UNHCR before your interview and tell them that you would need a female Case Officer and Interpreter,
- Following the points in this information sheet, prepare a statement of your story, in order from the beginning (such as where you were born and your family) to your arrival in Indonesia – this will help you to remember all the things you want to tell at your interview,
- The story you tell at your interview should be consistent with the information you provided to the UNHCR at your Registration Interview. If there are any changes or new information, you will be asked to explain why the story has changed,
- Take all your original documents with you and be prepared to answer questions about them. If you do not have original documents it is ok to take copies if you can explain why you cannot get the originals (such as if you left it in your country, or if it is lost),
- Take a copy of your statement and your UNHCR asylum seeker’s certificate,
- Make sure you arrive on time. If you are late, your interview might be postponed,
- There may be a long waiting period before the interview so take some food and water with you,
- The interview may take several hours (usually 2-4 hours) and may even go on for the whole day.
INTRODUCTION TO THE INTERVIEW
- The Case Officer will make a short introduction – this should explain the definition of a refugee, the confidentiality of everything that happens in the interview, and your duty to tell the truth,
- The interviewer should check that you and the interpreter understand each other, and that you are comfortable with the interpreter and the interviewer,
PROBLEMS WITH THE INTERVIEWER OR INTERPRETER
- If you have any problems with the interviewer or interpreter (for example if you suspect the interviewer or interpreter has any bias towards you), you have the right to request a different interviewer or interpreter (but this will likely result in your interview being postponed).
If you feel the interpreter is not interpreting correctly or if there are any communication difficulties, you should tell the interviewer.