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Revising Timor-Leste's Immigration and Asylum Law
Revista Lei Imigrasaun no Azilu

14 April 2010

During 2003, Timor-Leste enacted Law No. 9/2003 on Immigration and Asylum (also Portuguese).  Before it was passed, NGOs and others criticized the proposed law (also Bahasa Indonesia) as violating legal and constitutional rights. Although the Court of Appeals ruled that parts of the law were unconstitutional (also Portuguese) it was enacted anyway The most egregious articles were never enforced. In 2006, discussions began on revising the law.

Public consultation

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in conjunction with the Secretary of State for Security, is currently holding a consultation on a draft revision of the Immigration and Asylum Law of Timor-Leste. According to the IOM, "The Immigration and Asylum Law provides the basis for the policies that govern the entry and stay of visitors, students, workers, investors and residents in Timor-Leste. Effective immigration policies and procedures contribute to the social, economic and security objectives of the country. The existing law has been found to be deficient in addressing a number of these areas."

A review process was initiated by the government in 2006, and since 2007 a working group has been developing a draft revision of the law (also Tetum or Portuguese), with recent input from the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). It is being circulated for public comment. La'o Hamutuk is posting this web page, with IOM's permission, to enable more people and organizations to review and comment on the draft. This IOM summary document (also Tetum or Portuguese) highlights the policy issues and significant proposed changes. The draft law and summary document are not final documents and do not reflect current government policy, but are intended to encourage discussion before revised drafts are submitted to the Council of Ministers and eventually to Parliament for enactment.

IOM welcomes written comments and submissions, which they hope will focus on policy issues rather than small details. Responses should be provided to or delivered to the IOM office in Palapaso, Dili. Please provide your input as early as possible, but no later than Wednesday, 21 April. If your comments are written into the draft law files, please use the "track changes" facility.

La'o Hamutuk encourages submitters to mention which parts of the draft law they think are good, not only what they think should be changed.

La'o Hamutuk participated in a discussion about this law, and subsequently made a written submission in Tetum, available here.

Durante tinan 2003, Timor-Leste promulga ona Lei No. 9/2003 (Ingles) kona-ba Imigrasaun no Azilu (Portugues ka Ingles).  Molok lei ida ne'e pasa, NGO no sira seluk kritika proposta lei ne'e, (mós Ingles) tanba viola direitu legal no konstitusaun. Maske Tribunal Rekursu deside  (Portugues ka Ingles) katak artigu ruma viola konstitusaun, Parlamentu Nasional aprova nafatin. Artigu ne'ebe aat liu seidauk utiliza. Iha tinan 2006, diskusaun hahu kona-ba prosesu revizaun lei ida ne'e.

Konsulta publiku

Agora, Organizasaun Internasional ba Migrasaun (OIM), hamutuk ho Sekretariu Estadu Seguransa, dadauk ne'e organiza diskusaun kona ba revizaun draft (anteprojetu) Lei Azilu no Imigrasaun hosi lei Timor-Leste nian. Tuir OIM, "Lei Azilu no Imigrasaun fornese baze ida ba politika sira ne'ebé mak regul vizitante sira ne'ebé mak tama no hela, estudante sira, traballador, investidor no rezidente sira iha Timor-Leste. Politika imigrasaun ne'ebé efetivu no prosedimentu ne'ebé kontribui ba objetivu sosiál, ekonómiku no seguransa nasaun nian. Lei ne'ebe ezistente ne'e hetan frakeza hodi resposta ba area sira ne'e."

Prosesu revizaun ne'e, inisia hosi governu iha tinan 2006, no desde 2007 grupu traballu ida konvene ona atu dezenvolve draft (anteprojetu) revizaun lei nian (mós Ingles ka Portugues), ho sujestaun aktual husi Altu Komisariu Nasoins Unidas nian ba Refujiadu (UNHCR). Dokumentu ne'e fahe hodi hetan komentariu husi publiku. Ho lisensa husi OIM, La'o Hamutuk halo pajina web ida ne'e atu fasilita ema no organizasaun tan atu fo sira nia komentariu kona ba esbosu. Dokumentu sumáriu OIM ne'e, (mós Ingles ka Portugues) foka ba asuntu politika (kebijakan) no mudansa signifikativa ne'ebé propoin ba. Esboso (anteprojetu) lei no dokumentu sumáriu ne'e seidauk sai dokumentu final no la reflete politika governu agora nian, maibé intende atu enkoraja diskusaun tan molok halo revisaun foun hodi haruka ba Konsellu Ministru no Parlamentu Nasional atu hetan aprovasaun.

OIM sei simu komentáriu eskrita no submisaun, husu sei konsentra ba asuntu politika (kebijakan), duke detailhu ki'ik. Resposta sira tenki hato'o ba enderesu elektróniku ka hato'o diretamente ba Ofisiu OIM iha Palapaso, Dili. Por favor hato'o ita boot sira nia sujestaun se posivel lalais labele liu hosi loron 21 Kuarta feira fulan Abril. Se ita boot nia komentáriu hakerek iha draft lei ida ne'e, por favor uza "Track Changes."

La'o Hamutuk enkoraja ema ne'ebe hakerek submisaun atu mensiona parte ida ne'ebe diak tuir sira nia hanoin iha esboso lei ne'e, la'os deit saida mak ita-boot hanoin tenki hetan mudansa.

La'o Hamutuk partisipa iha diskusaun kona-ba le'i ida ne'e, no depues hakerek submisaun iha lingua Tetum.


The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
Rua dos Martires da Patria, Bebora, Dili, Timor-Leste
P.O. Box 340, Dili, Timor-Leste
Tel: +670-3321040 or +670-77234330
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