The refugees, immigrants and adopted children form a part of the most neglected groups in the world. This is because they are usually judged by the society according to their needs (Fink & Stinson, 2007). The refugees for instance are people who run away from their country for reasons such as war, hunger, and persecution. These people will go to other countries to seek better lives. However the reception they get is different from what they expect. Immigrants on the other hand are just people moving to other countries for education, search of better incomes and lifestyles. These experience racism, discrimination are mistreated by the citizen of the countries where they migrate. Adopted children face the problem of mistreatment by their foster parents, stigma from other children who come from their original parents.These groups’ face a lot of problems when it comes to health, culture and legal issues.
The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees gave a definition of a refugee as a person who has run away from his country for fear of persecution on the grounds of either belonging to a given race, religion, nationality, or political party (UNHCR, n.d). A refugee therefore, lives outside his country and because of the prevailing fear, is unwilling to avail himself to the protection of that country or return there because there is a fear of being persecuted.
When refugees arrive in a new country they are taken to concentration camps, normally referred to as refugee camps. There are some of the most successful cases of refugees who have been able to integrate themselves with the natives and acquire jobs and a normal lifestyle. However, there are those whose lives are just at the camps. In these camps, they depend on humanitarian aid and the help of those countries hosting them if they are able to (UNHCR, n.d). In these camps, they have no health facilities. If there are health facilities, they are not up to standards. They rely on medical aid which is supplied by donors. One of the major health issues that refugees face is the spread of diseases. They are from countries where they were fleeing natural disasters meaning that they did not have access to healthcare. However, life out there is not that easy. They may lack money to cater for health insurance. They have to pay for their own healthcare out of the money they earn. This money may not be enough for food and this will mean they will have to forego some of the health needs (Fink & Stinson, 2007).
When it comes to legal issues, most of these camps are situated in areas with no law enforcement. Any contravention of the law goes unnoticed. A refugee who breaks the laws will be harassed by the authorities. This is because they are at no position to spell out their rights since some of these rights accrue to full citizens. Their lack of knowledge of the law of those countries leaves them at a disadvantage they are usually sentenced for crimes they didn’t commit (CFR Refugees, n.d).
Culturally, most of these refugees face a lot of difficulties in adapting to the change. A person who moves from North Korea to the United States will be discriminated against because of his culture. He has to adapt a new style in dressing, to learn the culture of the people of the United States. This will even be more difficult if the natives are not hospitable and accommodative (CFR Refugees, n.d).
These are those people who leave their countries and settle in another country. Most of them are either economic or family immigrants (US Citizenship and Immigration, n.d). Economic immigrants move to search for money while family immigrants move to stay with their families in other countries. Immigrants too have their share of problems when it comes to health, legal and culture issues.
Health wise immigrants are faced with the problem of adapting to a new environment and diet. This mostly has a negative effect on their health. They are also faced with the lack of health insurance. When one moves to a new country their bodies are vulnerable to diseases. They will also contract diseases that need medical care. To access medical care in some of these countries you require a health insurance or means by which you will pay for the medical care. Most of these immigrants do not have permanent employment which makes it impossible for them to access healthcare (AAFP, n.d)
Legally immigrants are faced with the problem of dealing with the new system of law. When found on the wrong their freedoms are not guaranteed and this leads to them being locked up. They lack knowledge of legalprocedures of their new countries. They also don’t know where to seek legal help. They need the help of immigration lawyers to help them in issues such as prolonging their period of stay, getting work permits, bringing in spouses and relatives and deportation (US Citizenship and Immigration, n.d).
Cultural issues that are faced by immigrants include clashes between ones culture and the new culture. The fact that one is reluctant to adapt a new culture and there is also the risk of being discriminated if you do not fit in.
Many adopted children within the same country do not face a lot of problem. However the problem comes in where the children are adopted internationally (Davenport, n.d). Most of the adopted children are just placed in networks where they are adopted to families that like them. These children come from families with different backgrounds from those adopting them. Their families may have encountered poverty, alcoholism, or war. These children may also have missed immunization. All this information may not be brought to light during the adoption process thus leaving these children prone to many diseases. Some of these children may also be HIV positive. With lack of good health care this means they will be in and out of hospital all the time.
When it comes to adoption, the law is very strict. It lays a lot of procedures to comply with. There are the conditions set by the children department, the social services, and the states. Most families pass the test but after adoption most adoption children realize that it was an act put up by their foster parents. These kids do not know who to report to incase of abuse or neglect. Another legal issue is when their birth parents show up and claim recognition. This means a case is filed in court or another move for the children. Their legal rights also come in and those of their parents.
Adopted children may move from one social class to another. They may also have to move from one country to another or change schools. All this comes as culture shock to a child. A child is very delicate especially when it comes to changing cultures (US Citizenship and Immigration, n.d). They can respond positively or negatively. When they respond positively it’s always a good thing. The problem comes in when they respond negatively. The fact that they have to change their habits, dress code, and food isn’t always that welcome to them. Some have to change their language. All these are some of the cultural issues that adopted children face.
All these groups encounter legal, health, and cultural issues. The refugees however have a lot of these problems due to the illegality of their migration and the reasons behind their moving. Legal problems and health problems are the major ones since they do not have access to either of these facilities. Immigrants also face these problems but at a minimal level since with the right assistance they can solve these problems. Adopted children are at a fix since they are children and their fate is determined by their guardians. Children also do not have the ability to seek help when they are faced with these issues. Some of them just suffer in silence.
AAFP, (n.d). Medical Care for Immigrants and Refugees. Retrieved on 14th February 2012 from: http://www.aafp.org/afp/980301ap/gavagan.html
CFR Refugees, (n.d). Refugees and the Displaced. Retrieved on 14th February 2012 from: http://www.cfr.org/issue/71/refugees_and_the_displaced.html
Davenport, D. (n.d). Choosing Adoption – Developmental Impacts of Orphanages versus Foster Care. Retrieved on 14th February 2012 from:
Fink, S & Stinson, M. (2007).War, catastrophes, displaced persons, refugees, and terrorism. In Markle, W. H., Fisher, M., & Smego, R. A. (Eds), Understanding global health (pp. 176-199).The McGraw-Hill, Columbus, OH. Retrieved from http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47566859/Understanding%20Global%20Health%20Chapter%209.pdf
UNHCR, (n.d). Protecting Refugees. Retrieved on 14th February 2012 from: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646cc8.html
US Citizenship and Immigration. Adoption. Retrieved on 14th February 2012 from: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis