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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Pakistan Schoolchildren Killings

The slaughter of the children in Pakistan is incomprehensibly awful. On the side, it has thrown a spotlight onto something that’s become a pop cultural meme. Fans of the Homeland TV series will be well aware of the collusion between sections of the Pakistan military/security establishment on one hand and sections of the Taliban of the other…

Reportedly, it was the breakdown of the relationship between the Pakistan Taliban and the Pakistan military – which for the first time, began bombing Taliban enclaves in the Tribal Federated Areas earlier this year – that led to this revenge attack on the school, which is attended by the children of the military. More>>

 

Parliament Adjourns:

Police: Phillip Smith Investigation Passport Charge

A 25 year-old man will appear in the Whanganui District Court today charged with the Passports Act offence of False Representations. The charges were laid on December 9 by the Auckland-based Phillip Smith investigation... More>>

Intelligence: Inspector-General Accepts Apology For Leak Of Report

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August 2011 to media prior to its publication. The Inspector-General will not take the matter any further. More>>

ALSO:

Drink: Alcohol Advertising Report Released

The report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship has been released today, with Ministers noting that further work will be required on the feasibility and impact of the proposals. More>>

ALSO:

Other Report:

Leaked Cabinet Papers: Treasury Calls For Health Cuts

Leaked Cabinet papers that show that Government has been advised to cut the health budget by around $200 million is ringing alarm bells throughout the nursing and midwifery community. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Party: Tribunal Report Confirms Iwi Ownership Of Lake Waikaremoana

“We are pleased for the claimants that eight years after the hearing began on Lake Waikaremoana they have some closure,” says Māori Party Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. “Most importantly, the report confirms freshwater is a taonga and identifies the ownership rights of Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruapani, Ngāti Kahungunu, and Ngāi Tamaterangi to the lake bed.” More>>

ALSO:

Climate Performance Report - Not Achieved: NZ Government Part Of Global Climate Problem

The New Zealand Government’s position on climate change is part of the global problem that we need to overcome if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change, the Green Party said. More>>

ALSO:

NSW Police Statement: Three Dead Following Martin Place Siege

About 2.10am (Tuesday 16 December), a confrontation occurred between police and a man who had taken a number of people hostage inside a café on Martin Place. Shots were fired during the confrontation. As a result, the 50-year-old man was pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. Another man, aged 34, and a woman, aged 38, were pronounced dead after being taken to hospital. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Sydney Siege (And DHB Budget Cuts)
Whenever the authorities bring a siege situation to an end, there will be criticism if – as has happened in Sydney – any hostages are seriously hurt, or killed... In the Sydney Morning Herald this morning, columnist Peter Hartcher raises a different point – that the initial public response had been noticeably different to the agitated reactions of politicians and the media. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Income Inequality, And Yo Ho Ho Christmas Songs

As 2014 grinds to a close, we probably didn’t need one more reminder of this government’s ability to stare reality in the face and declare black to be a very fine shade of white... Yet on Wednesday, there was Finance Minister Bill English trying to tell RNZ that the OECD was (a) wrong (b) using old data and (c) somehow anti-growth and in any case (d) New Zealand allegedly already had a strongly re-distributive tax system... More>>

Werewolf: Public Health - The Silent Crisis

Gordon Campbell: New Zealand’s public health system has been in crisis for so long that its failings – and deteriorating performance vis a vis other developed countries – now tend to be treated as its normal mode of being. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: House Adjourns For Summer

Parliament has risen for the summer break with the Adjournment Motion agreed just after 5pm on Wednesday. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news