Arrival: Physical Health
"Refugees have often known extreme hunger, sleeplessness, frostbite, sunstroke, ... various sicknesses and ailments that have gone untreated during long periods preceding their flight and during the journey itself..."
Refugees have often known extreme hunger, sleeplessness, frostbite, sunstroke, physical and sexual abuse, various sicknesses and ailments that have gone untreated during long periods of unrest preceding their flight and during the journey itself. They might be victims of torture, sexual or otherwise, and might be carrying a child that is the product of rape. Unaccompanied minors have made harrowing journeys without an adult to provide basic nutrition and safety, and are, as a result, malnourished and especially susceptible to diseases.
Our team members obtain informed consent from each individual before an interview takes place. Consent forms are translated and explained in the individual’s primary language. Individuals dictate where their stories may be shared and what personal information they wish to keep private. In situations where the individual is at risk and/or wishes to remain anonymous, alias names are used and other identifying information is removed from interviews immediately after they are received by TSOS. We have also committed not to use refugee images or stories for fundraising purposes without explicit permission. Our top priority is to protect and honor the wishes of our interview subjects.