Awaiting her decision: Uba’s Story

Uba was six months pregnant when she was arrested and placed in an immigration detention center (IDC) in Bangkok.

Uba, a minority clan woman, experienced persecution in Somalia at the hands of her husband’s majority clan family, who did not accept their marriage. She fled with her daughters and sought refuge in Thailand. Her husband arrived soon after.

As asylum seekers, Uba and her family are always at risk of being detained. Thailand considers all refugees to be illegal migrants. When Uba was detained, her family remained outside of IDC. Her husband took care of their two young daughters but struggled to provide for them.

Uba, pregnant and separated from her family, needed legal assistance.

Fortunately, she connected with Asylum Access. First, Asylum Access Thailand helped Uba’s husband find a place to live and referred him to other service providers to assist him in supporting their family. Then, after rounds of advocacy by Asylum Access, Uba was released on bail. A few months after her release, she gave birth to a healthy daughter. When Uba and her family sought protection from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Asylum Access provided support throughout the refugee status determination process.

Now a mother of three, Uba fell into further hardship when UNHCR rejected her case on first instance. Her husband blamed her for the rejection and left her while the appeal was still pending. He wanted nothing to do with Uba or their daughters and left Uba to face life in Bangkok on her own.

Asylum Access’s legal team made sure Uba had a fair chance to rebuild, negotiating with her landlord to extend her rent due date (to avoid eviction) and connecting her with a number of local service providers to build her network of support.

Due to the change in circumstances, Asylum Access also decided to submit a supplementary appeal to UNHCR. Asylum Access argued that, in addition to her original claim, Uba should be recognized as a refugee based on her status as a single mother with three daughters at risk of female genital mutilation if sent back to Somalia. Uba has since been called in for an appeal interview in relation to the supplementary submissions and is awaiting her decision.

Without help advocating for her rights, Uba might still be stuck in detention, at risk of being sent back to a dangerous situation in her home country. Asylum Access was founded to ensure all refugees can find safety and rebuild their lives with dignity.

Our refugee clients overcome unthinkable obstacles in order to reach safety and rebuild. Asylum Access helps refugees challenge legal barriers and claim the rights they deserve. Empower refugees by giving today.