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New Zealand to take more Syrian refugees

7 September 2015

New Zealand to take more Syrian refugees - Amnesty International response

Responding to the Immigration Minister’s comments this afternoon that New Zealand will take in 750 Syrian refugees, 600 under an emergency intake, Amnesty International’s Executive Director Grant Bayldon said:

“The announcement that New Zealand will take 750 Syrian refugees over a two and a half year period is a welcome and overdue first step forward in New Zealand’s contribution to addressing the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. This is a life-saving step that will make a genuine difference to the lives of those 750 people.

“However, Amnesty International believes that if the government is serious about addressing this issue and saving lives then it must bring the planned review of the refugee quota forward and double the refugee quota immediately.

“At 90th in the world on per capita intake of refugees, New Zealand is well out of step with all its major allies. As well as the emergency intake the government has announced, we need to see a permanent increase.”

“The worst global refugee crisis in 70 years requires an urgent and significant response from a country that currently holds a place on the UN Security Council. The government should be asking how much, not how little, we can do to help save innocent lives. Doubling our refugee quota is the least we can do after 28 years without an increase.

“Amnesty International is urging the government to immediately double the refugee quota. Not only should the numbers be increased, but the resources should be scaled up and service providers consulted to ensure all refugees are supported to settle well here.”


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