Adina Appelbaum is a second year joint MPP/JD student at Georgetown University. She spent a year in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Fellow providing legal aid to refugees who had fled from Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan. Adina has also worked with refugee issues at Asylum Access Ecuador and at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
By Adina Appelbaum
On May 30, 2012, the Ecuadorian government adopted Decreto 1182, a new restrictive decree that has replaced the previous policies regarding the refugee status determination process (RSD) in Ecuador. Decreto 1182 represents a great setback for refugee rights in Ecuador, as the law no longer includes a provision to accept refugees under the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees of 1984, which until recently has provided protection to thousands of Colombians fleeing violence. Under the new decree, asylum seekers now have only 15 business days to apply for status in Ecuador after entering the country and three to five days to submit an appeal for a negative decision. Additionally, refugees who are considered ilegitimas, or illegitimate, are now excluded from the process.