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

AMA: Scoop's 'Invisible Paywall'

Operation Chrysalis: The Final Countdown - Thanks & There's Still Time To Pledge

Phew! We are now counting down the hours to the end of this crowd-funding campaign at 11pm on Sunday. Thankyou to all those Scoop readers and supporters who have pledged already. You have been awesome. But this is not over yet. More>>

 
 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

IPCA Reports: Significant Problems In Police Custody

In releasing two reports today, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has highlighted a number of significant problems with the way in which Police deal with people who are detained in Police cells. More>>

ALSO:

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security: Inquiry Into GCSB Pacific Allegations

The complaints follow recent public allegations about GCSB activities. The complaints, and these public allegations, raise wider questions regarding the collection, retention and sharing of communications data. More>>

ALSO:

TPPA Investment Leak: "NZ Surrender To US" On Corporates Suing Governments

Professor Jane Kelsey: ‘As anticipated, the deal gives foreign investors from the TPPA countries special rights, and the power to sue the government in private offshore tribunals for massive damages if new laws, or even court decisions, significantly affected their bottom line’. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: The Myth Of Steven Joyce

Gordon Campbell: The myth of competence that’s been woven around Steven Joyce – the Key government’s “Minister of Everything” and “Mr Fixit” – has been disseminated from high-rises to hamlets, across the country... More>>

ALSO:

RMTU: No Public Submissions On International Government Procurement Deal

“The government is preparing to assent to the Government Procurement Agreement, a World Trade Organisation Treaty which opens up New Zealand Government contracts to foreign companies and closes the door on local businesses and their workers. However the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee is refusing to take public submissions on the decision.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Pacific Spying

So New Zealand spied on its friends and allies in the Pacific – and has not only been passing on the results to the NSA, but has apparently passed on the details of the Pacific’s relations with Taiwan to our other best friends, the Chinese. On the side, the Key government has also been using the security services to gauge the chances of Trade Minister Tim Groser landing the top job at the WTO... More>>

ALSO:

State Housing Transfer: Salvation Army Opts Out

The Salvation Army has decided against negotiating with Government for the transfer of Housing New Zealand stock.
More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news