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

 


World Refugee Day time to consider millions at risk

World Refugee Day time to consider millions of people at risk, Canterbury lecturer says

June 19, 2014

Tomorrow is World Refugee Day and a University of Canterbury lecturer says there are around 40 million people of concern for the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, an all-time high.

Dr Jeremy Moses, who lectures on refugee issues at the University of Canterbury, says the number has been rapidly driven upwards by ongoing wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Somalia and the Central African Republic.

``While we tend to be very quick to empathise with people suffering at the hands of brutal governments like the Assad regime in Syria or the Islamic insurgent group the ISIS in Iraq, we tend to be much more hostile when it comes to refugee reception in our own country,’’ Dr Moses says.

``Refugee reception has been a hugely divisive issue in Australia for well over a decade and continues to be a major point of political division within Australian society. The death of an Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Berati, in an Australian offshore processing centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea earlier this year stands as a low point in Australia’s humanitarian record.

``While New Zealand treats the refugees it receives quite well, it maintains quite a low annual quota for refugee intake. Even more worrying is the way in which the threat of refugees arriving by boat in New Zealand has been raised by the Prime Minister on a couple of occasions over recent years.

``Given the huge distance and treacherous waters that separate Indonesia and New Zealand, the prospect of an influx of refugees on New Zealand shores seems remote, yet the cultivation of the idea of refugees as a threat to our security persists and maintains a negative hold on many people’s perceptions of refugees.

``World Refugee Day might be a pertinent time to remind ourselves that refugees have been forced to flee their homes and risk their lives in order to make a better future for themselves. Rather than feeling that our security is under threat from such people, it would be healthier to recognise the extreme threats that they have faced and be more open to their arrival and resettlement in New Zealand.’’

New Zealand accepts about 750 refugees annually through the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In recent years, a focus on refugees in special need of protection has resulted in the resettlement of a diverse range of nationalities from regions as far afield as East Africa and the Middle East.

Refugees are given permanent residence on arrival in New Zealand and spend their first six weeks at the Department’s Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Open Source // Open Society - Full Coverage

Gordon Campbell:
On The Reserve Bank And Auckland Housing

The ‘crisis – what crisis?’ response by the government to the Auckland housing price bubble is no longer acceptable.

So says Reserve Bank governor Grant Spencer – who used unusually frank language in his speech and subsequent interviews yesterday to call for a capital gains tax, and to generally chastise central and local government for their inaction on a threat to the country’s economic health and financial stability.

That threat has been real for some time. The housing price bubble has already created a currency bubble... Undaunted, the government keeps calling this situation a success story. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Bangladesh: GCSB Dragging NZ Into Human Rights Abuses

The New Zealand government should stop providing intelligence assistance to Bangladeshi security agencies that are known to systematically engage in human rights abuses, said the Green Party today. More>>

ALSO:

Troops Heading To Iraq: Government Must Come Clean On Deployment

New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture of secrecy and unknown protections around the deployment.” More>>

ALSO:

Image: Strikers And Protestors Join Outside McDonald's

A group of protestors took to McDonald’s Manners St today as a part of the international fast food workers day of action to end zero hour contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Greens: Special Education Funds Not Spent

More than $32 million of funding for children with special needs has not been spent by the Government, despite families of children with special needs complaining for years that they’ve been denied the support they deserve. More>>

ALSO:

John Key: Pre-Budget Speech To Business NZ

So this Government will remain relentlessly focused on improving the competitiveness of our economy... We will continue to give businesses a platform to invest, grow and create jobs in the knowledge they will be backed by a clear and consistent government policy programme. More>>

ALSO:

Multimedia: Andrew Little’s Response To John Key’s Pre-Budget Address

Labour Party leader Andrew Little spoke today on John Key’s pre-budget address this afternoon in Wellington. Little said National has had seven years to achieve a surplus and Kiwis have “fufilled their end of the bargain.” More>>

Surplus Baggage: Key Backs Off ‘Artificial Target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On UE Pass Rates And University Dropout Rates

Houston, there is clearly a problem with (a) the plunge in pass rates for University Entrance qualifications, which has been especially steep among Maori students and also a problem with (b) the failure rates for Maori students among those who reach university... Unfortunately the two problems seem related. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news