Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


New Zealand legislation failing asylum seekers

4th February 2014

New Zealand legislation failing asylum seekers

A UN report that includes several recommendations on the rights of asylum seekers has been welcomed by the Refugee Sector Strategic Alliance (RSSA).

‘Clearly, the Universal Periodic Review Working Group is extremely worried about the erosion of the rights of asylum seekers in NZ,’ says Tim O’Donovan, Co-Chair of the RSSA. The RSSA, a national collective of organisations working with and/or on behalf of refugee-background communities, aims to ensure New Zealanders who come from refugee backgrounds are able to participate fully in New Zealand life.

‘Six of the recommendations are specific to asylum seekers. Given that New Zealand only receives a very small number of asylum seekers, this indicates the level of concern the Working Group has about asylum seeker legislation,’ says O’Donovan.

The UN Working Group’s recommendations include the need to further tackle the challenges concerning the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, ensuring genuine asylum seekers are not arbitrarily and unfairly discriminated against and that New Zealand’s immigration legislation is in accordance with international human rights obligations.

The RSSA shares the UN Working Group’s concerns, noting recent immigration changes including the passing of the Mass Arrivals Bill into legislation in 2013. These concerns are evidence by recent research according to O’Donovan.

‘Research released in December 2013 found that asylum seekers have severely limited access to support services both before and after being recognised as Convention refugees and gaining Permanent Residency. This research along with the recommendations made by the UN Working Group indicates we have some work to do to ensure people can realise their right to seek asylum,’ says O’Donovan.

‘The RSSA is hopeful that the New Zealand government takes these recommendations seriously. As a country we need to ensure that people, regardless of how and with whom they arrive, can realise their right to seek asylum. We have a proud human rights record that we need to protect. The Working Group’s concerns need to be addressed and we look forward to the Government’s response,’ says O’Donovan.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news