It is too delicate to meet a person for half an hour and then to translate in front of someone who has no idea of their culture.”. The National Asylum Court, or CNDA, is the final chance for asylum seekers in the country to appeal a rejected claim. But for the people there, asking for asylum, it’s their life story… It’s not just a mastery of languages. “For a job that is not well paid, there is a lot of responsibility.”, ‘What started as a noble initiative for a comprehensive regional response has become a race to the bottom.’, ‘Since the end of the lockdown, it's more complicated to have firms signing apprenticeship contracts.’, ‘Maybe the humanity is in the fine print.’, ‘You can’t really tell someone to stay in a situation where their life is truly in danger.’, 25 years of journalism from the heart of crises. She is not the only qualified interpreter who chose to stop working in France’s asylum court. The absence of adequate investment in the system makes it hard to attract and retain skilled interpreters. It is a failure. Under French law, asylum seekers, refugees, and stateless people are entitled to express themselves in their preferred language. FRANCE: General violence in Kabul, Afghanistan is no longer justifiable grounds for granting international protection, France’s National Asylum Court concluded on 20 November, reversing its past stance of granting asylum to people even if they were not personally persecuted. But the Ngos say that even the recognized refugees and registered asylum-seekers ended up sleeping there because of a severe lack of official accommodation. The job is poorly paid, and interpreters often have to work long, irregular, hours immersed in sensitive, often traumatic, stories. By Gareth Davies, Breaking News Editor 30 July 2020 • 12:03pm ... "Actually, the migrants in Calais would rather live clandestinely in the UK than claiming asylum in France." The case was brought by 12 asylum-seekers who argued the … Otherwise, people either leave the country on their own, get deported, or end up becoming undocumented. If a lawyer recognises an interpreter is not providing an accurate and complete translation, they can request to stop the trial and reschedule. Although the three-decade civil war between the majority Buddhist Sinhalese and minority Tamil factions ended in 2009, violence, prejudice, and political upheaval continue. The average monthly salary in France in 2015 – the most recent year with available data – was 3,021 euros ($3,568). “There are many people who have worked here for years and years. The CNDA temporarily suspended hearings for asylum seekers from Azerbaijan. The French senate has increased the overall budget for the asylum system for 2020, but critics say the increase is not enough. Franck Wittwer is a former interpreter for Burmese at the CNDA. There is a lot of humanity.”. Asylum Applications in France averaged 6230.39 persons from 2009 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 13635 persons in October of 2019 and a record low of 170 persons in April of 2020. They are usually contracted from interpretation and translation firms, which have different standards and often pay relatively little. The new arrivals deeply polarized the country and fueled the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which rails against immigration and Islam. December 3, 2020 | 1:32pm | Updated December 3, 2020 | 1:33pm Asylum-seeker Ibrahim stands on a balcony outside his room at the Hotel Avenir Montmartre in Paris, France. In this case, the error was recognised, but a single mistranslation can ruin a person’s credibility, and thus their hopes for legal protection from persecution. News European human rights court condemns France for treatment of asylum-seekers. “The word refugee, the word asylum: not the same thing. Home France News France welcomes 750 asylum seekers from Greece. Many are simply economic migrants, looking for a better life. Although she managed, she said it was a “very awkward” translation. Wittwer also used to translate at the CNDA. But for many languages – even in a diverse, cosmopolitan country such as France – there aren’t enough adept interpreters to meet the daily demand for translation services. The Strasbourg-based court said on Thursday that the three people – an Afghan, a Russian and an Iranian – “have been victims of a degrading treatment reflecting a lack of respect for their dignity”. Audience ratings certified by ACPM/OJD. The last time Wittwer appeared at the CNDA, the asylum seeker for whom he was supposed to translate didn’t even speak Burmese. Whom might Donald Trump pardon in final day of presidency? They have a 15-day window to file an appeal for residency on another basis, which is only granted in exceptional circumstances. In February 2019, the court ordered France to pay 15,000 euros ($16,900) to an Afghan asylum seeker for failing to protect him when, as a 12 year old, he lived alone in a makeshift refugee camp in Calais, in northern France. “In the waiting room, I see interpreters sleeping, lying on the benches,” Joseph said. The court ordered France to pay fines ranging from 10,000 to 12,400 euros ($11,270 to $13,970) to each of the three people. 0. Reuters “What really protected me is having done theatre. “He was afraid that a Sinhalese [interpreter] would twist his words or that things would go badly.”. Many also lack geopolitical knowledge or cultural training, which can be important in asylum cases. The EU’s rights court orders France to pay fines up to $13,970 to each of the three ‘victims of a degrading treatment’. An asylum seeker’s verbal testimony must match their previous statements exactly. But the interpreter “was completely lost”, Thieuleux said. It was the interpreter’s first meeting with the man asking for protection in France, and she was the sole link between him and the court, responsible for translating the judge’s questions into Georgian and the man’s responses into French – effectively conveying the political persecution, police brutality, and torture this asylum seeker said he experienced before fleeing Georgia. As people settled into their places, a woman with a red jacket and matching lipstick walked into the room and sat down next to the couple, introducing herself in Georgian before facing the judge. The hearings determine whether a person will be granted the right to remain in France and be protected under the law. The British government will routinely deny asylum to migrants who board boats to cross the English Channel or come to Britain through illegal routes, the Sunday Times reported. Even experienced, professional interpreters can struggle to master judicial and technical vocabulary. France 24 is not responsible for the content of external websites. Asylum is not the only protection for foreign minors when they are "unaccompanied" (without adult family members in France). “You feel like you are a translation machine. She said she is expected to know both family law and asylum law, and yet her full-time work through an interpretation firm earns only about 1,700 euros ($2,010) per month. The number of people seeking asylum in Germany in 2020 fell by 30 percent compared with the previous year, official data showed Sunday, as … The Yemeni man tells Sky News he would prefer to die in his wife's arms back in … Many are simply economic migrants, looking for a better life. The numbers applying for protection have increased every year since 2015, but successive French governments have failed to match this rising demand with sufficient funding. France to impose quotas for economic migrants in 2020 By InfoMigrants Published on : 2019/11/08 As of next year, France will introduce quotas for migrant workers and impose stricter rules on asylum seekers’ access to French healthcare. ‘We should be welcoming people in a much better way than we do now. The number of asylum seekers in France has risen, migrant support groups say, as part of the continuing effects of the migrant crisis that reached a peak in 2015. It’s a scandal. Yet, many lawyers, judges, and asylum advocates argue that the standards for interpreters are not applied universally or strictly monitored. T The majority of asylum seekers using the service came from Afghanistan, followed by Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire. — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 15, 2020 While previously many of the Afghans coming to France were political refugees from urban areas, the latest migrants arriving are mostly Pashtuns from rural villages along the border with Pakistan, a Taliban stronghold area. At the GUDA, it is not mandatory to provide an address (domiciliation) to register asylum seekers’ claims. 'I was not safe in France': Asylum seeker explains perilous trip across Channel. Upon arrival, they sometimes have to wait hours before they are called to a hearing. Asylum restrictions come after small boat arrivals across the Channel surged to record levels with more than 8,000 migrants travelling across the Dover Strait in 2020. Following the Covid-19 outbreak at the beginning of 2020, measures have been taken to limit access to the asylum procedure for newly arrived asylum seekers. Despite France receiving £192 million from the British since 2014, Gallic authorities have failed to stop some 8,500 illegals that have landed on Britain or entered British waters since the beginning of 2020 … “Please excuse me,” she said. “I prefer to subtitle films,” Wittwer said. An interpreter for Turkish asylum seekers at OFPRA and the CNDA – who wouldn’t give her name because she didn’t have permission from her firm and was worried she might lose her job – explained how she travels all around the region surrounding Paris, visiting hospitals, courts, and associations. But the Ngos say that even the recognized refugees and registered asylum-seekers ended up sleeping there because of a severe lack of official accommodation. “We should be welcoming people in a much better way than we do now. In September, hearings at the CNDA resumed in full force – between 18 and 27 per day – after the eight-week coronavirus lockdown in mid-March and the annual August vacation. Anamiga Joseph, an interpreter for Tamil, and the daughter of immigrants from Sri Lanka, recently helped prepare a Sri Lankan asylum seeker for his appearance at the CNDA. “There’s no perspective of evolution,” she said. The EU rights court has ruled several times against France on its treatment of refugees, saying the country is in breach of Europe’s human rights convention forbidding inhuman or degrading treatment. It is an abusive system.’, Freelance journalist based in Paris focused on human rights, and asylum and migration law. Due to the pandemic, defendants are not allowed inside the court until the hour of their assigned hearing. “It was very, very serious,” Journeau said. These measures do not figure throughout the country report, but a brief overview can be found at the start of the section ‘Overview of the main changes since the previous report update’. While he had lived in a tent for at least nine months, he had been granted a subsistence allowance after 63 days. And monitoring is implemented throughout the duration of the contract,” Dely told TNH via email. Yes, we are paid, but we do not find any fulfillment.”. 2 Jul 2020 The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that France violated the rights of three asylum seekers who lived for months on the streets with … Joseph said she tries hard to express the emotions of the asylum seeker, while trying to protect herself from the psychological toll of hearing often traumatic testimonies. Being an interpreter at the CNDA requires more than a mastery of two languages – it demands geopolitical and cultural knowledge, a commitment to neutrality, and some degree of human empathy. Interpreters at the asylum court are not government employees. Joseph is the daughter of immigrants from Sri Lanka. … The asylum-seekers from Russia, Iran and Afghanistan filed a complaint after spending months sleeping rough. In March, she decided to become a cultural mediator, helping people who receive asylum adjust to life in France. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide. If an asylum seeker does not speak French, an interpreter is provided free of charge and legally required to be present at both the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA), where asylum requests are first submitted and processed, and the CNDA. ... 2020. ... 2020. “It is scandalous, and it creates doubt about the neutrality of the interpreters,” said Eloide Journeau, a lawyer who represents clients in around 150 cases per year at the CNDA. nm/rs (dpa, AFP) First publication: July 2, 2020 The long-awaited proposal for a "New Pact on Migration and Asylum" comes two weeks after fire destroyed an overcrowded camp on the Greek … The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that France violated the rights of three asylum seekers who lived for months on the streets with no means to meet basic needs such as food, housing and healthcare. But the court wasn’t able to find other interpreters to hire, so, when hearings resumed, the same interpreters were still translating. “For a job that is not well paid, there is a lot of responsibility,” he explained. The number attempting perilous journeys to other parts of Europe is also rising -- Italy has recorded 16,942 sea arrivals so far in 2020, compared with 11,471 in all of 2019, reports the UNHCR. But there are times when she still struggles when interpreting at the CNDA. The Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, has announced that 750 asylum seekers will be relocated to France, following an agreement concluded in January this year with the French Minister of State for Interior, Laurent Nunez. I try to convey all the emotion that the person gave without having myself intimately experience this [trauma],” she said. /Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP To find out if asylum-seekers had already registered in other EU countries, British officials could tap into the bloc's fingerprint database of asylum applicants, EURODAC, and set the ball rolling. France's Macron Says France Must Stop Abuse of Right of Asylum By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 4, 2020 By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 4, 2020, at 10:28 a.m. News European human rights court condemns France for treatment of asylum-seekers. “The selection procedure requires an in-depth examination of the interpreters’ curriculum vitae to verify their skills. Sign up to receive our original, on-the-ground coverage that informs policymakers, practitioners, donors, and others who want to make the world more humane. From the very beginning, EWSI has been tracking the impact on migrant communities in a number of key integration areas presented below. — Priti Patel (@pritipatel) November 28, 2020 The UK and France plan to continue a close dialogue to reduce migratory pressures at the shared border during the next year, Patel said. When interpreters work at the CNDA for a long time, they may also become desensitised to their work. FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a face mask, gestures as he gives a speech about health research during a visit of the Necker Hospital in Paris, France December 4, 2020. One of them, an Iranian journalist who was eventually granted refugee status, lived on the streets for nearly six months and was without resources for 133 days. On a rainy March morning, days before the coronavirus pandemic closed it to the public, seven people filed into a courtroom in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil. “If the highest-prioritised criterion is the cost, we will never improve the quality of interpreters.”. And that’s what's dangerous,” said Joseph. “If it had been a language other than English, well, I would not necessarily have understood that there was a problem,” Thieuleux said. France is “responsible for the conditions in which they lived for months in the street … with permanent fear of being attacked and robbed”, the court said in a statement, noting the “absence of adequate response” from authorities. For work at the CNDA, an interpreter must block off a full day or half day over a month in advance. “Everyone understood that the interpreter was not translating the full questions or the responses of my client.”. Interpreters are required to take an ethical oath to act with “independence, impartiality, neutrality, fairness of interpretations, and respect for professional secrecy”. Even if interpreters accurately translate speech, conveying the emotion or context behind words is another challenge. The Yemeni man tells Sky News he would prefer to die in his wife's arms back in … Court officials had not verified what language the person spoke. Every day. Anamiga Joseph is a former interpreter for Tamil at OFPRA and the CNDA. “For me, it is too difficult. For languages that are less commonly spoken or taught in France, such as Azerbaijani, Pidgin English and Wolof, a language spoken in parts of West Africa, the number – and quality – of interpreters is limited. “There are few interpreters who are skilled enough to precisely translate voice intonations and expressions,” Thieuleux said. PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron of France tried to seize control of the issue of immigration on Wednesday, as his government announced … She felt prepared, but during the hearing she encountered financial terms she did not recognise. France's Macron Says France Must Stop Abuse of Right of Asylum By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 4, 2020 By Reuters , Wire Service Content Dec. 4, 2020, at 10:28 a.m. 'I was not safe in France': Asylum seeker explains perilous trip across Channel. The word torture is not the same. After a confused and tense back and forth with the judge, the interpreter suddenly gasped. Paris: Asia Bibi, the Pakistani Christian woman who spent years on death row after a 2010 conviction of blasphemy, said Monday that she was seeking political asylum from the French government. nm/rs (dpa, AFP) First publication: July … Halfway through the hearing in March, a question stuck. Thieuleux recently defended a client at the CNDA who speaks Pidgin English – a Creole version of the language common in Nigeria. Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. It is an abusive system,” Thieuleux said. Neutrality is one of the most serious challenges. The man’s lawyer, a woman in her mid-sixties, introduced herself to her client by yelling at him to hurry up in a language he didn’t understand. Zi Wang, whose native language is Mandarin Chinese, has lived in France for 12 years and received a master’s degree in French and translation studies. “The word punishment is not the same thing for a Sri Lankan as for a North African or for the French,” Joseph explained. Italy’s Democratic Party-Five Star Movement coalition government should revoke anti-asylum and anti-rescue measures held over from the previous government, Human Rights Watch … Context behind words is another challenge told TNH via email of what my client said. ” a mediator. 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