I want to work, says Saudi teenager given asylum in Canada

I want to work, says Saudi teenager given asylum in Canada

"We offered protection to one refugee but there are thousands of prospective refugees attempting to flee the United States right now - not from the USA but from third countries - and we are not providing them with the opportunity to pursue asylum claims in Canada", she said. Mohammed took to Twitter, saying she was "formally seeking refugee status to any country that would protect me from getting harmed or killed due to leaving my religion and torture from my family". She fled her family while visiting Kuwait and flew to Bangkok.

"I had no say in any of this".

Rahaf Mohammed said the fact that she was able to leave Saudi Arabia and settle in Canada makes her "one of the lucky ones".

"The Saudi administration controls a woman's life - her job and position", Alqunun said.

Alqunun landed in Toronto on Saturday after the Canadian government said it had agreed to resettle her at the request of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"I would like to start living a normal life, like any young woman living in Canada", she said.

Some countries, such as Canada, may be influenced if they know a situation is playing out in the public eye but it's unclear to what extent that matters for so-called transit states like Thailand and the Philippines, Aiken said.

Mohammed told Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she hopes that her story that has garnered global attention will be a catalyst for change in Saudi Arabia.

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"I imagined it would be a hard and perhaps frightening moment and it might make a difference for her personally to feel she had the personal and welcome support of our government".

Her plight has drawn attention to Saudi Arabia's strict social rules, including a requirement that women have the permission of a male "guardian" to travel. She added, "I felt that I could not achieve my dreams that I wanted as long as I was still living in Saudi Arabia".

Saudi women are dominated by guardianship laws, which require them to have the consent of a male guardian in order to fulfill basic needs such as securing a passport, undergoing some medical procedures, or conducting any official business matters.

Having come to Canada, "I felt that I was reborn, especially when I felt the love and the welcome", she said. "Any woman who thinks of escaping, or escapes, will be at risk of persecution". The family denies any abuse. "Today I can proudly say that I am capable of making all of those decisions".

"Women in Saudi Arabia are treated like children, even if they are 50 or 60 years old".

She also said she is declining any more media interviews and declined to take questions.

COSTI, which is under contract with the federal government, is assisting Mohammed with temporary lodging as well as help her find a more permanent place to live, Calla explained. COSTI sees an average of two, and sometimes up to five, urgent protection cases per year, Mr. Calla said.

When she reads those posts, "her emotions go back and forth".

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