United Nations                                                                                                            ...
rescue at sea is involved. The events of     effect in November. Among the reforms                As the leaders of more t...
roundup
UNHCR’s Regional Office Canberra made              non-refoulement obligations under the
numerous submissions and c...
A traditional welcome to Iowara-East Awin.



Iowara the centre of attention on
World Food Day and Rural Women’s Day
From ...
Refugee protection
                                                the focus of Fiji workshop
Building on Fiji’s long trad...
Senior Executives take lead:
                                                Course on refugee determination
             ...
situations and on-the-job-requirements,         base. There has been no asylum seeker            of the Government of Solo...
Pacific Islanders face the reality
                                                 of climate change
The Carteret Islands ...
United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees
Regional Office for Australia,
New Zealand, Papua New Guinea
and the Pacific
N...
services involves far more than
                                                                                          ...
Breaking down Barriers
                                                to Employment
From Catherine Scarth                ...
Housing &
                                                                                                              ho...
Key issues faced by asylum seekers
needing emergency and transitional            recently responded to asylum seekers
acco...
Strategic Settlement Framework
                                           Laying stronger foundations
                    ...
limited opportunities for employment          intensity of support provided. We are          almost 70 per cent of the cur...
Settlement services
                                             in New Zealand: an overview
From Refugee Services        ...
stressors for refugees. Although it is one      – a telephone link (often to Australia)         is consequent difficulty in...
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010
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Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010

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UNHCR REGIONAL OFFICE
NEWSLETTER
No. 1/2010
(Published January 2010)
A publication of the Regional Office
for Australia, New Zealand, Papua
New Guinea and the Pacific.
3 Lyons Place,
Lyons ACT 2606
Tel: +61 (0)2 6260 3411
Fax: +61 (0)2 6260 3477
E-mail: aulca@unhcr.org
Web: unhcr.org.au/unhcr.org.nz
Editors: Ben Farrell and Alex Donato

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Transcript of "Australia for Unhcr newsletter2010"

  1. 1. United Nations www.unhcr.org.au High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific No. 1/2010 Refugee Newsletter From the Regional Representative UNHCR/J.Björgvinsson As we look back over events in 2009, we However, in October 2009 two events see a rather mixed report card for refugee sparked a vigorous public debate and the protection in the region. airing of some extreme views that were The two principal factors that drive asylum- unhelpful to our efforts to improve cooperation seekers’ movements towards Australia, New for refugee protection across the region. The Boat arrivals are increasing in many parts Zealand and the broader Pacific region first event was the interception, in Indonesian of the world, including the Horn of Africa are conflict and human insecurity in their waters, of a vessel carrying 255 Sri Lankan where 74,000 people crossed the Gulf of countries and regions of origin and the lack nationals. The second was a rescue at sea, Aden to Yemen in 2009. of any credible opportunities for people to by the Australian Customs Vessel Oceanic find asylum and solutions en route to this Viking, of a group of 78 people also from region. It is no accident that the largest Sri Lanka. At the time of writing, UNHCR is numbers of people coming by boat to working hard to find resettlement solutions Australia are nationals of Afghanistan, Sri for all those formerly aboard the Oceanic Contents Lanka and Iraq and who are for the most Viking. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation 1 From the Regional Representative 3 2009 legal & protection part – and contrary to speculation that most for those on board the much larger vessel in roundup of these people are economic migrants – Merak Harbour in Indonesia remains of great 4 World Food Day and Rural refugees in need of international protection. concern to UNHCR. Women’s Day The number of people seeking asylum Leaving to one side the often polemic and 5 Refugee protection – arriving by both air and sea – in Australia unfocused public debate about who bears the focus of Fiji workshop between January and October 2009 was responsibility for these particular events and 6 Senior Executives take lead 4,835, an increase on the 3,884 who sought how they are to be solved, UNHCR believes 7 Preparing to respond to protection over the corresponding period that we need to address the deeper and disasters in the Pacific Islands in 2008. In New Zealand, where geography underlying challenges posed to states and 8 Pacific Islanders face the reality makes boat arrivals a rather more remote refugees in the region. of climate change prospect, asylum claims rose from 212 to a In particular, as we look towards 2010 and 9 Settlement services still modest 279 over the same period. beyond, we need to find comprehensive and a vital part of refugee protection UNHCR has always argued that these more collaborative strategies that: 9 Settlement services in Australia: an figures need to be seen in a global 1. Address the root causes of forced overview perspective, given that there are some 42 displacement in coherent and systematic 11 Breaking down barriers to employment million forcibly displaced people worldwide. ways. These must engage a whole suite 12 Housing & homelessness Despite the increases in our region, less than of measures ranging from diplomacy and 14 Strategic settlement framework one per cent of the world’s refugees come to enhanced human security to humanitarian 16 Settlement services seek protection in Oceania. and development aid and which, together, in New Zealand: an overview By contrast, in 2009 some 74,000 people will encourage people to return to their 18 Refugee research crossed from the Horn of Africa to Yemen places and regions of origin as conditions in New Zealand by boat, while Mediterranean nations such of safety permit; 20 Family reunification in New as Greece, Italy and Spain each receive 2. Involve closer cooperation with transit Zealand tens of thousands of boat arrivals each year. and asylum States in order to improve 22 Tracking the health & wellbeing of Meanwhile, almost 300 people tragically lost the physical and legal conditions of refugees in New Zealand their lives over the past two years while trying asylum – what we call the ‘protection’ or 23 Realities of settlement in the to reach the United States by boat from the ‘humanitarian’ space. In particular, we need context of Papua New Guinea Caribbean and South and Central America. to avoid protracted detention and family 25 Edward Kennedy receives the 2009 Nansen Refugee Award Despite the steady increase in asylum- separations and to provide temporary 26 UNHCR encouraged by seekers trying to find protection in Australia rights that allow human dignity and self- US$477.5m during the course of the year, the public sufficiency for those most affected; 27 Half of the world’s refugees now debate around refugee issues remained 3. Provide better ways of cooperating live in cities relatively moderate until October. within a multilateral framework where 28 Mission to Eastern Chad 29 World Refugee Day 2009 30 From the National Association 31 Thanks to our donors 32 UNHCR resources
  2. 2. rescue at sea is involved. The events of effect in November. Among the reforms As the leaders of more than 140 states recent months highlight the difficulties under the Act, UNHCR welcomed the recently converged in Copenhagen, the of responding alone or bilaterally introduction of a wider protection category voice of affected Pacific Island States, when a wider system of cooperation that will place on a statutory basis New notably Tuvalu, graphically told the world and collaboration across the region is Zealand’s obligations under the United that this is a problem faced by the region essential. Above all, the responses must Nations Convention against Torture and ‘here and now’ and not in the future. To draw place the humanitarian and protection the United Nations Covenant on Civil and attention to the likely displacement of some needs of the victims themselves at the Political Rights. The single immigration Pacific Island peoples, UNHCR co-hosted heart of actions taken; tribunal structure introduced under the a side event at the Pacific Leaders Forum 4. Provide greater support for States through Act will also provide greater administrative Cairns in August. There, we argued that which people transit to find durable efficiencies provided the level of expertise although mitigation and adaptation might solutions for refugees (and non-refugees) and independence that currently resides help those most affected, contingency in their territories. Protracted and in the Refugee Status Appeal Authority is planning for forced displacement – based on unresolved displacement places a burden maintained. the protection and humanitarian needs of the on host States and acts as a disincentive In the Pacific, we have made good victims themselves – needs to be undertaken for them to provide support. It also progress with our regional capacity-building without delay. causes great human suffering to those strategy that is based on UNHCR’s Ten Land rights lie at the heart of any affected and drives onward movement Point Plan to manage mixed migration. In for those desperate enough to seek the displacement and need to be seriously particular, we are working closely with the help of unscrupulous people smugglers. addressed if workable solutions are to be Pacific Immigration Directors Conference At present, the number of people found. and International Organisation for Migration needing protection through resettlement To date, a victim-centred and protection in the region. We are particularly pleased globally (747,000) vastly outstrips the focus has been largely absent from much with the positive response we have received combined number of places offered by of the discourse on natural disasters. To from Palau, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and, the resettlement countries for UNHCR- address this in the region, UNHCR and the more recently, the Cook Islands following referred refugees (approximately 76,000). Office of the UN High Commissioner for a stakeholder awareness workshop in This imbalance needs to be addressed December. And in October, we had a Human Rights (OHCHR) have agreed to Co- by larger resettlement intakes and more very productive training session in Fiji for Chair a new Pacific Humanitarian Protection significant support to those states hosting senior officials in a number of government Cluster (PHPC). We will report further on this most of the world’s refugees. departments responsible for border control. initiative as it gains momentum. Clearly, much of the onward movement The presence of the Minister for Defence, Despite the many challenges we face of asylum-seekers and refugees to the National Security and Immigration, Ratu Epeli to improve refugee protection, UNHCR is region can be explained by the fact few, Gavidi Ganilau, was most encouraging. always encouraged by the wonderful work if any, long term solutions are available In Papua New Guinea, we have had some done by service providers and refugee in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. success in bringing the arterial road to the communities themselves in their search for Only if conditions of asylum improve in remote East Awin settlement of Papuan self-sufficiency in their new homes. During these other regions – and more effective refugees but the physical terrain and weather UNHCR’s annual consultations with NGOs and prompt solutions found – will the are constant adversaries to progress. The and refugees in both Australia and New downward pressure of onward movement quality of asylum in PNG is mixed and much Zealand in October and November, we to Australia and New Zealand be eased work remains to be done if PNG is to have a heard again the challenges faced by newly- and the dangerous and exploitative self-sufficient and credible asylum system in arrived refugees as they look to integrate practices of people smugglers eliminated. place without the need for UNHCR’s direct through employment, education, housing, UNHCR is convinced that cooperation involvement. and improved health care. We also heard between States to combat people The problem of climate change, and the of the painful separation of families and smuggling, trans-national crime and greater frequency and intensity of natural their struggle for family reunion with loved tougher border control measures will not, of disasters in the Pacific, is of great concern ones left behind in countries or regions of themselves, resolve the underlying problems to UNHCR. The Region consists of island origin. These are real issues that we need of people movement. In our experience, States scattered across a vast geographic to address if the generous resettlement these activities tend to deflect the problem area and Pacific Islands Countries are programmes of both Australia and New elsewhere. It is only by addressing the amongst the most vulnerable states in the Zealand are to be even more successful. humanitarian and human dimension of world to natural disasters. They are highly We hope that the Discussion Paper in forced people movements in the region that exposed to adverse natural events such as this Newsletter will shed light on some of effective solutions can be found. tropical cyclones, volcanic eruptions, tsunami the challenges for refugees in settling into a Despite the political and public focus on and earthquake. In addition, the region is new country – a task made more difficult by the debate around boat arrivals, there have characterized by the vast ocean mass, the prevailing economic conditions in both been a number of lesser-known and positive small and scattered population numbers on countries. developments in other parts of the region. vulnerable small islands and national and In New Zealand, the long-awaited local response capacity that can be quickly Richard Towle changes to the Immigration Act came into overwhelmed by forces of nature. Regional Representative 2 Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010
  3. 3. roundup UNHCR’s Regional Office Canberra made non-refoulement obligations under the numerous submissions and consulted through Parliament in October and with governments and NGOs in most into the protection visa framework. came into force in November, making countries in the region as changes to UNHCR submitted comments to significant changes to the refugee legal and asylum systems were proposed the Senate Legal and Constitutional status determination review process and and implemented. Committee in September. codifying a complementary protection Some significant events and change system, among other changes. are outlined in this roundup. (Citizenship Test Review and Other Australia Parliament in September, codifying the Review of the Legal Aid System during Australia signed the United Nations recommendations of the Citizenship October. Optional Protocol to the Convention Test Review Committee which included Against Torture in May. an exemption from sitting the test for Papua New Guinea persons who have a physical or mental incapacity as a result of having suffered Constitutional Law Reform Commission second and third reports of its Inquiry into torture or trauma outside Australia. Immigration Detention in Australia in May and Human Smuggling in Port Moresby and August respectively. in March, providing a global perspective Migration’s inquiry into the Migration of the interaction between the issues Treatment of People with a Disability. of trafficking in persons and people Vulnerable Persons, which aims to ensure smuggling and the international refugee they are supported during the review & Status Resolution was established protection system. process and recognize and respect the to provide independent advice on the implementation of measures associated inherent dignity of vulnerable persons. Pacific Island Countries with the government’s immigration policy to the ‘45-day rule’, which had operated initiatives, including New Directions in Detention and the national rollout of the technical advice to the Government of to restrict work rights and healthcare Community Status Resolution Service. Samoa in respect of its draft Refugee access for asylum-seekers. The Council, which succeeds the Immigration Detention Advisory Group, establish the process by which refugee first met in October. status may be determined in Samoa to regulator of the migration advice give effect to its obligations under the profession, a role previously undertaken New Zealand by the Migration Institute of Australia. The Immigration Advisers Licensing Act Protocol. 2007 entered into force in May, requiring anyone providing immigration advice to seeks to implement the Government’s be licensed, with the intention to protect New Directions in Detention policy, was migrants (including asylum-seekers and UNHCR submitted comments to the Legal unethical behaviour of unscrupulous and Constitutional Committee in August. immigration advisers. notwithstanding the prior possession of nationality to another country, and released the Plan of Action to Prevent measures to prevent statelessness. abolishes the charges imposed on People Trafficking, a cross-government immigration detainees and waives all strategy to deal with people trafficking provided advice to the Government of existing debts for current and former in New Zealand. The Plan follows the Vanuatu in respect of its draft Immigration detainees, passed the Parliament in preparation of a discussion paper by the September. Interagency Working Group on People status determination process. Trafficking on the proposed approach, development and implementation of a For information or copies of UNHCR was introduced into Parliament in plan of action, and formal submissions by submissions on these issues please visit September, seeking to bring Australia’s relevant stakeholders. www.unhcr.org.au or email aulca@unhcr.org Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010 3
  4. 4. A traditional welcome to Iowara-East Awin. Iowara the centre of attention on World Food Day and Rural Women’s Day From Walpurga Englbrecht As always, events and activities responsible for the different sectors, as UNHCR PNG Country Representative in Iowara-East Awin also provide well as representatives from UNHCR and The refugee settlement of Iowara-East opportunities to highlight the needs of the Diocese of Daru and Kiunga. Awin became the centre of Western refugees and the wider community to Like any good event in Papua New Province for two days in October, with the government authorities. Guinea, singing, dancing and delicious celebration of World Food Day and World Discussions with representatives from food were central parts of the two-day Rural Women’s Day. district, provincial and national authorities event. The event provided a unique centred around raising awareness of One final issue of great importance to opportunity for refugees and the local issues such as violence against women the community was highlighted as the population to show off a variety of skills and children, child protection and birth visitors drove off down the bumpy dirt and trades to their many visitors, with registration, law and order, agriculture track between Iowara and Barramandi. demonstrations of sago and peanut butter and livestock, and business development. Those visitors, like the community, making, rice milling, traditional weaving, Among the dignitaries present were might have wished that the long-delayed fish net mending, rubber budding, and the Provincial Administrator, Provincial road repairs had been completed before flower arranging. Police, District Administrator and officers the event. 4 Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010
  5. 5. Refugee protection the focus of Fiji workshop Building on Fiji’s long tradition of humane has developed over many years between people fleeing their homes and seeking treatment of asylum-seekers and refugees UNHCR and the FID. international protection and to make sure was the focus of a workshop jointly hosted Minister of Defence, National Security people needing protection were able to by UNHCR and the Fiji Immigration and Immigration, Ratu Epeli Gavidi find it, even in the small Pacific Island Department (FID) in October. Ganilau, said that, as a signatory to the States of this region. The two-day workshop looked at 1951 Refugee Convention, Fiji was keen to Fiji is a leader in the Pacific as a deepening the understanding among play its part in ensuring that those people signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention officials of how to identify and act on who are in need of international refugee and through its adoption of a national the protection needs of people seeking protection receive it. refugee legislation and refugee status international protection, and to provide “Despite Fiji’s isolated location in the determination system. technical advice on the development Pacific, we live in a globalized world where “We encourage it to continue on this of Fiji’s national refugee determination people are very much on the move”, the positive path”, Towle said. system. Minister noted. Through this workshop, UNHCR and UNHCR’s Regional Representative, Mr Towle said the workshop was FID have recommitted themselves to Richard Towle, thanked the Department an opportunity for UNHCR to offer a working in a cooperative way to build on for co-hosting the highly successful global perspective and outline the and strengthen the systems by which Fiji workshop, and said it was evidence of complex factors relating to insecurity upholds its international refugee law and the strong working relationship which and conflict around the world that lead to humanitarian obligations. Participants during the workshop on Fiji’s Coral Coast.
  6. 6. Senior Executives take lead: Course on refugee determination in Solomon Islands vi. To understand internally displaced training as much as the operational persons (IDPs): who are they, where are and technical levels. The arming of the they, why are they of concern, their rights, strategic level with appropriate knowledge and who is responsible for their protection; and skills on refugee matters leads to a The course is a step in the implementation more principled, consistent leadership From Barnabas Anga of the work programme agreed to in and management of the RSD framework. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of February 2009. Importantly it also enables Solomon Islands Commerce, Industry, Labour & Capacity building on refugee protection to make lawful decisions at the border. Immigration in the Solomon Islands as with other Pacific Much of the focus at the political level Solomon Islands has signed five of Islands countries essentially includes is influenced by the strategic level advice. the eleven international human rights as a starting point the strengthening of Training of the strategic level on refugee conventions. One of these, the 1951 the decision-making process on refugee matters is in the best interests of Solomon Convention on the Status of Refugees protection as a central part of immigration Islands as a State Party to the Refugee (Refugee Convention) was adopted by functions. For the purpose of refugee Convention. succession on 25 February 1995 and determination the decision-making process It was on the above premise that UNHCR followed by the signing of the 1967 Protocol is divided into four levels, namely: Political developed and conducted the course on the Status of Refugees on 12 April 1995. (Minister/Cabinet); Strategic (Permanent for senior executives in Solomon Islands. In February 2009 UNHCR and the Secretary); Operational (Director of Participants included: the Permanent Government of Solomon Islands (GSI) Immigration); and Technical (Immigration Secretary and Under Secretary (Technical) through its Ministry of Commerce, Processing Officers). responsible for Immigration, Director and Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) As the levels are mutually linked, the Deputy Director of Immigration, Principal co-facilitated a refugee stakeholder level of understanding on refugee matters Legal Officers from the offices of the awareness workshop in Honiara. at one level determines largely the shape Attorney General and the Director of Public of the decision at the next. Existence of Prosecution, and senior officers from the The workshop established basic knowledge gaps can hold back progress Royal Solomon Islands Police Force – key understandings of key provisions of the in implementing the purpose of the persons that the Permanent Secretary, as Refugee Convention, an essential first Convention. It can cause the types of the RSD Officer, is likely to consult with. step for the relevant agencies to progress actions that delay refugee determination The content of the course, while strictly towards implementing the humanitarian decisions or, worse, remove altogether focused on RSD process, also incorporated purpose of the Convention. The GSI with the protection of refugees as required persons of concern that exist or have the its stakeholders put together a process under the Refugee Convention. Further, likelihood of existing in Solomon Islands in to guide its work in the development of a ignorance of the necessary elements of the view of the islands’ vulnerabilities. In this legal framework for refugee protection. Convention’s protection regime can lead respect protection of internally displaced On 20 May 2009, through the to unnecessary discrimination, negative persons and addressing security concerns continuing cooperation of UNHCR and the decisions and refoulement. Solomon without undermining refugee protection MCILI the Senior Executives’ Course on were also covered, two areas of particular Islands is aware of its obligation to the refugee protection was held in Honiara. importance to Solomon Islands. Ensuing various human rights conventions. The course objectives were: The course focused on the strategic discussions drew out clear separation of i. To understand refugee status level, where in the structure of MCILI, the refugee protection and security concerns. determination: its purpose, legal basis Permanent Secretary is likely to be the RSD Clear and deep insights into both areas and process; Officer. The Permanent Secretary needs to put to rest concerns and stereotypes ii. To understand what are ‘fair and be well versed with the Convention as well as arising from national security issues in efficient’ refugee status determination the RSD procedures. An additional important relation to how the Refugee Convention (RSD) procedures; reason for these is that he/she is the principal was hitherto perceived. While examining iii. To understand the key elements of the advisor to the political level. Findings and the circumstances surrounding countries Refugee Convention in determining advice of the operational and technical levels of origin and refugee movement, areas who is a refugee; are submitted to the Permanent Secretary. like mixed migration and sexual and iv. To examine complementary forms of The strategic level is the key point in gender-based violence were focused on as protection; the first part of the refugee determination elements within the key thrust of the course. v. To understand that international law decision-making process but has An important component of the course enables States to address their security hitherto not been included in the training was the RSD role play exercise. The concerns without undermining refugee programme. The important issue though exercise adopted real-life functions and protection; is that this is a critical level and it needs subjected the participants to on-the-job- 6 Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010
  7. 7. situations and on-the-job-requirements, base. There has been no asylum seeker of the Government of Solomon Islands are issues, considerations and decisions. or refugee in Solomon Islands to date. grateful to UNHCR, and Dr Lesi Korovavala The role play exercise was indispensable However, the course was held at an in particular, for having related the RSD as it provided the opportunity to apply opportune time as Solomon Islands was procedures to government and decision- the knowledge acquired in the earlier putting together its draft refugee policy and making structures in Solomon Islands. Their sessions and enabled the confirmation of with the legislation to follow. The course was understanding of the relevant processes and our understanding, confidence in dealing a necessary impetus in Solomon Islands’ having put together and run the course for us with such situations and crystallised our preparation to provide the humanitarian are appreciated. The issues involved are real; understanding of the weight of responsibility space to deal with one of the most many are emotive and culturally sensitive. The in determining life and death situations vulnerable groups of people in the world. manner with which the course was run allowed for those escaping from persecution and Acquiring the knowledge and skills enabled us to address these issues and venture into seeking international protection. the participants and eventually Solomon our cultural space while maintaining focus The knowledge and skills acquired Islands to make alive the Convention and to on the course objectives. As the Permanent through the course have set the foundation build and own the RSD procedures. Secretary of the line Ministry the confidence for the senior executives and these will be The Ministry of Commerce Industry, Labour that the Solomon Islands team gained from the continuously built upon as our knowledge and Immigration and the participants on behalf course is invaluable. Preparing to respond to disasters in the Pacific Islands From UNHCR eCentre Management Organization (NDMO) The workshop featured presentations and the UN Office for the Coordination from experts from both within and The Pacific Islands Emergency and Disaster of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) outside the region, and numerous Management Workshop in May 2009 in organized the first-ever Pacific Islands interactive demonstrations and exercises. Honiara, Solomon Islands was the UNHCR Emergency and Disaster Management In the end, the participants reported eCentre’s first training event in Melanesia. Workshop. The event brought together leaving with a greater understanding of Humanitarian assistance in the a total of 36 emergency responders international standards used in dealing Pacific has proven complex, as the primarily from the Melanesian nations of with emergencies. Equally important, region is prone to a range of disasters Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, they parted with a greater familiarity with including cyclones, earthquakes, as well as others from Australia, New tsunamis, flooding, volcano eruptions colleagues facing similar challenges Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with the and landslides. Moreover, the vast Pacific in neighboring countries, and new goal of raising standards and sharing best Ocean mass and the presence of small approaches that can be applied to practices in responding to humanitarian and scattered populations on vulnerable respond more efficiently and effectively emergencies. and remote small islands create daunting when the next crisis occurs. The workshop was designed to improve logistical challenges for responders. The Pacific Islands Emergency and response to emergencies by exploring Large natural events can quickly problems, standards and best practices Disaster Management Workshop was overwhelm local and national capacities in key areas of emergency and disaster organized by the UNHCR eCentre and resources, and even comparatively management. Areas explored in detail in cooperation with the Solomon small-scale of disasters can have huge included protection of the rights of Islands National Disaster Management impacts on the affected people and affected people, emergency assessment, Organization (NDMO) and UNOCHA. countries. food and nutrition, emergency shelter, Further support was provided by partners To confront these challenges, the logistics, water and sanitation, RedR Australia, RedR New Zealand, UNHCR eCentre, in conjunction with coordination in emergencies and coping InterWorks L.L.C., and the UNHCR the Solomon Islands National Disaster with the effects of global climate change. Representation in Canberra, Australia. Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010 7
  8. 8. Pacific Islanders face the reality of climate change The Carteret Islands of Papua New Guinea residents about the relocation process. On Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu, for are a three-hour boat ride from the much “While appreciating the assistance from example, an innovative coral gardening larger, and higher, island of Bougainville. Bougainville, many residents say they project is under way to help reduce But for the 2,500 islanders, who have lived are worried about losing their culture coastal erosion and sand loss, which are a carefree life of fishing and small-scale and traditions and are uncertain as to considered to be major impacts of sea agriculture, the reality of a changing climate how they will be received by the host level rise. The project is a joint initiative means plans are now under way to make community,” Loughry reports. of the local community, a national NGO the trip to Bougainville a permanent one. Such dilemmas highlight the difficult and a holiday resort and is an example of On the Carterets, like elsewhere in choices faced by island communities under how adaptation strategies can protect the the Pacific, a number of complex and threat from rising seas, with relocation often environment and the economy. interrelated factors – environmental, Meanwhile, Kiribati is looking towards seen as the option of last resort. climatic, geological and demographic the development of skilled migration Although people displaced by climate – are at play, and these are creating programmes that may be able to change and environmental degradation uncertainty about the ability of people to reduce overcrowding in the short term, are not classified as refugees under the remain in their traditional homelands. while developing skills and building up 1951 Refugee Convention, UNHCR’s UNHCR Regional Representative in the communities abroad should larger-scale experience has shown that they are Pacific Richard Towle says the protection resettlement be required in the future. clearly people who face great challenges of people affected by these factors must And to help prepare for the possibility be part of a broader, human rights- and whose rights and protection needs of a rise in the frequency of natural focused response to human security and have to be addressed. disasters, UNHCR has joined with other ensure social and economic development Indeed, many communities reject the agencies to form a Pacific Humanitarian for all people in the region. “climate refugee” label saying it gives a Protection Group to help map and analyse “Most of all, finding solutions to these false sense of hopelessness, preferring the protection needs of people who face challenges means listening, consulting, to focus on adaptation and mitigation risks from the elements. and responding to the specific needs of strategies to help them stay in their These examples show the combination affected populations – whether they be homes. “Many people from Pacific Island of approaches – disaster preparedness, coping mechanisms and adaptation or countries have told us their preference is mitigation and adaptation, and possible eventual relocation,” Towle says. firstly to try to mitigate the worst effects relocation – that will be needed to assist For the Carterets, coastal erosion, of rising sea levels such as depletion of people facing climate and environmental destruction of sea walls and inundation fresh-water supplies, flooding, disease, challenges in the region. For the Carteret by salt water means that most of the small and loss of traditional food sources, Islanders, relocation appears to be the gardens of swamp taro and vegetables livelihoods and housing,” Towle says. only choice left. upon which families depend for food are no longer fertile. Emergency food A sea wall made of wire and clam shells can’t hold back the rising tide on the Carteret Islands. supplies are running low, and relocation ©JRS/M.Loughry increasingly looks like the only option. After several unsuccessful attempts to move the islanders over the past few years, the authorities have identified a plantation on Bougainville as a future resettlement site and anticipate bringing families from the Carterets and other threatened atolls this year. The Papua New Guinea government is also planning continuing services for families and individuals who remain on the atolls and is putting in place a contingency plan in anticipation of future severe climate events. Sister Maryanne Loughry, from the Jesuit Refugee Services Australia, was on the Carterets late last year to talk to 8 Refugee Newsletter No. 1/2010
  9. 9. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Office for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific No. 1/2010 Discussion Paper Settlement services a vital part of refugee protection The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with the generous showing the various countries of origin of the students. UNHCR RO Canberra Settlement services in Australia: an overview From the Settlement Council of Australia around settlement issues for refugees of Australia (SCOA) received a grant conference for over 180 delegates from from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, in recognition of its role as the the Department of Immigration and settlement service providers in order to map settlement service provision, and to consult on the future role and direction of Feedback from the First the National Council of Migrant Resource and Settlement Agencies (NCMRSA), National Settlement the Refugee Council of Australia, the Conference of settlement service providers. The first national settlement conference In the short time since receiving Councils and the National Multicultural funding, SCOA has achieved a Building a Future for Social Inclusion”. The milestones include:
  10. 10. services involves far more than providing information and referral, organisations and workers across the and other Commonwealth agencies, the and linking clients to other services. sector and from all corners of Australia, Australian Social Inclusion Board, Australian whether working as policy makers, Multicultural Advisory Council, Refugee information and referral services practitioners or researchers was indicative Council of Australia, Refugee Resettlement promotes a “tick box” approach, and of the very real interest, commitment and Advisory Council, Australian Human Rights also over simplifies the high level of skill need for the sector to come together, to Commission, and other national peak share their experiences, practice and casework. More emphasis should achievements to date. National Women’s Consultative Council. A be placed upon the development of Over 180 participants registered for copy of the conference report is available “settlement life skills”, based on a client- the conference to listen to presentations, on SCOA’s website. focused, competency-based approach participate in good practice workshops, to adult learning, rather than a “tick box” and most importantly through roundtable Responding to Key approach to information delivery. discussions, to develop strategies and 3. Flexibility is another key element to the Settlement Issues recommendations that will drive the delivery of settlement services across SCOA has produced a number of Australia. There is no “one size fits all” national settlement agenda into the future. papers on key settlement issues, in solution, especially when it comes to As importantly, the current members of response to government discussion finding solutions to complex issues such the SCOA as well as prospective members papers and consultations on issues as housing and health service provision. and allied settlement organisations of importance to SCOA’s member It is important to learn from innovative confirmed their commitment to support organisations. These include: approaches to settlement service delivery, the SCOA’s work as the peak body that will represent the many and varied efforts and explore ways that these models can of settlement services through advice to Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian be replicated and/or adapted. government, research, information sharing Program; 4. With regard to multiculturalism in and assisting the development of national Australia, we do not believe a minor standards. Many organisations have the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement makeover on current policy without already demonstrated their commitment Strategy (IHSS); program development and resource through application for formal membership. commitment will make much difference. Through roundtable discussions, for Multicultural Youth Programs Based Indeed it will reinforce some of the conference delegates identified a on Best Practice Initiatives; disappointment and cynicism that number of key recommendations. The already has grown in relation to the recommendations from the conference of consultations by the Australian current government. SCOA is happy covered the following themes: Multicultural Advisory Council (AMAC). within our limited resources to contribute Some of the key recommendations to in a continuing way to this process development; come out of these papers include: of stakeholder engagement in the 1. The need for greater recognition and formulation of policy. planning; valuing of the specialism and expertise With the momentum gained over the last upon which effective settlement services few months, SCOA will continue to work to as the most successful pathway to need to be based. Such expertise is built support the development of the settlement independence and integration; upon a variety of experiences, including: services sector, and to take forward the issues which have been identified as multicultural services; priorities by our members. settlement services and allied services. To find out more about the Settlement These recommendations will be prioritised for cultural differences; Council of Australia, or to inquire about and forwarded to relevant stakeholders in membership, visit our website at www.scoa. accordance with SCOA’s key areas of work organisations to develop cultural org.au or email SCOA’s Executive Officer, and resource capabilities, including DIAC competencies; Andrew Cummings at andrew@scoa.org.au. 10 Discussion Paper No. 1/2010
  11. 11. Breaking down Barriers to Employment From Catherine Scarth absence of an already established ethnic General Manager, Community community, all shape or exacerbate the and Policy, AMES standard employment barriers faced by The challenges facing refugees are never other migrants (RCOA, 2008). more evident than when they are looking In addition, many refugee job seekers experience institutional discrimination and for a job, with workforce participation racism on arrival (VMCC & VEOHR 2008). rates significantly lower for newly arrived Discriminatory practices impact on refugees and migrants than for many other employment opportunities for these groups in Australians. The Department of Immigration and underemployment and lack of recognition Citizenship (DIAC) Longitudinal Survey of and Immigrants to Australia (2007) showed that 75% of humanitarian entrants (HE) and experiences (Brotherhood of St Laurence refugees were unemployed 4-5 months after arrival and only 16% were participating Typically these barriers to employment are behaviours of small and medium enterprises in the labour force. By 16-17 months after collapsed to: “lack of English, lack of local arrival, 43% of HE were still unemployed and work experience and lack of qualifications”. In 2006, the Victorian Employers only 32% were participating in the labour AMES experience and research show that Chamber of Commerce and Industry force. This low workforce participation rate the barriers are more specific, subtler within a (VECCI) found that employers with a skill contributes to significant individual distress number of identified areas, inter-connected, shortage had not considered the possibility and impacts on social cohesion. and involve a number of affective (or of recruiting a skilled migrant or refugee. Via Commonwealth Government personal) factors as well as external factors. The VECCI survey indicated that many settlement programs including the Integrated While in some respects refugees, skilled arrivals are taking up jobs in un- Humanitarian Settlement Strategy (IHSS) skilled and unskilled, share similar skilled and semi-skilled occupations such and the Adult Migrant English Program experiences of engaging with the labour as aged care, sales and taxi driving. (AMEP), AMES works with recently arrived market to other migrants, their migration Other studies also show these migrants refugees in Victoria from a wide variety of experience is very different. suffer substantial occupational downward work backgrounds ranging from skilled Pre- and post-arrival experiences set mobility and loss of occupational status, professionals and trades people to those them apart. The effects of torture and even many years after arrival (Colic-Peisker with limited work skills relevant to the & Tilbury, 2007). Many refugees are at risk Australian labour market. industrialised society after long periods in of becoming an underclass of workers in Research undertaken in Victoria in 2008 Australia – median incomes for migrants identified a number of barriers facing domestic responsibilities for family members from Sudan, Iraq and Afghanistan, for refugees attempting to enter the labour who themselves are trying to cope with instance is between $228 and $234 per market in Australia. These include: week as opposed to $488 for Australian-born Reproduced with permission from AMES (c)2009.
  12. 12. Housing & homelessness residents and $431 for the whole Australian vacancies to refugees; particularly through From the Asylum Seeker population (DIAC 2007). an ILM program that enables them an Resource Centre AMES experience is that a ‘one size fits opportunity to test a refugee job seeker’s Housing and homelessness are amongst all’ approach to employment assistance is capacity before proceeding to a longer-term the greatest challenges facing asylum neither appropriate nor adequate for most contract. refugees. People with complex settlement seekers in Australia. Asylum seekers who With incentives, such as liaison staff who needs require settlement support that is speak the first language of the worker and have applied for protection can live for individualised and integrated with labour assist with work training, employers concerns years in the community without stable market participation – and as soon after about potential risks are alleviated and a accommodation and without access to arrival as practicable. good match between business requirements any mainstream housing services. For example, the AMES Intermediate and individual skills can be achieved. Homelessness is a challenge not Labour Market (ILM) Program, one of AMES AMES research shows that where there is only for asylum seekers but for many Transition to Work strategies, enables a good match, work experience may lead to Australian citizens and permanent refugees to secure their first job in Australia, ongoing employment. residents, with the Australian Bureau to learn about Australian workplace culture, A recent business roundtable of of Statistics reporting over 105,000 and to gain local work experience in a time- employers participating in such programs homeless people in Australia each night. limited and real job. Hopefully, this leads to noted that there had been ‘sensational’ Australia wide, there are a number of permanent employment in the mainstream outcomes for the business and participants not-for-profit support agencies who work labour market. with ‘performance levels on a par or better with asylum seekers to address their Through this coordinated program refugee than peers’. basic welfare needs. Collectively, not- job seekers benefit from: There was agreement that the risk of hiring for-profit services meet the legal, health, a refugee was not less or greater than hiring social and basic welfare needs of asylum methods and practical application of this anyone else. in relation to specific opportunities; seekers, but all of this well-integrated Promoting the values and unexpected support comes undone when an asylum benefits of refugee employment will begin workplace behaviours and communication seeker has no place to live. For all of breaking down the perceptions and barriers in situ and receive constructive feedback these services, access to appropriate that employers fear when confronted with a on performance; housing is the missing link. refugee job seeker. During the refugee determination The resulting employment will lower the placements and securing a job (i.e. the process, people seeking asylum are hurdles the refugee must jump before feeling opportunity to demonstrate skills to a arguably the most marginalized of all they are settling properly into their new home. prospective employer led to subsequent groups of homeless people. This is due It will ensure that Australia continues employment); and largely to the fact that they are denied to benefit socially and economically from the contribution of people from refugee access to public housing and Centrelink and managing the transition into sustained and have no safety net to ensure ongoing backgrounds. employment. income to pay rent. In addition, current At the same time, AMES has worked to shift References housing policy renders asylum seekers understanding by employers of the special Brotherhood St Laurence 2008 Social Inclusion: Economic Imperative Migration Action Issue 1, May 2008 ineligible for many mainstream services needs and particular benefits that refugee Department of Immigration and Citizenship (2007) New leaving them reliant on the support of employment can offer. Migrant Outcomes: Results from the Third Longitudinal Employers need to consider the manner Survey of Immigrants to Australia. AGPS, Canberra charities to avoid homelessness whilst Constable, J, Wagner R, Childs M, & Natolia A, (2000) and method of attracting job seekers. Doctors Become Taxidrivers: Recognising Skills – not awaiting an outcome of their protection This extends from where jobs are as easy as it sounds, Office of Employment Equity and claim. Diversity, Premier’s Department of NSW, 2000 advertised through to the types of questions McDonald, B., Gifford, S., Webster, K., Wiseman, J. asked in interview situations to elicit the and Casey, S., 2008. Refugee Resettlement in Regional Key housing issues faced and Rural Victoria: Impacts and Policy Issues. Report appropriateness of the candidate. Upskilling commissioned by Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, by asylum seekers of managers to mentor employees and the Carlton North. Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) (2008) Submission The process of seeking asylum is neither positive contribution that new cultures can to the Australian Government on the 2008-09 Refugee and instantaneous nor a permanent state. It bring to the workplace are additional benefits Humanitarian Program, February 2008 Val Colic-Peisker and Farida Tilbury (2007) Refugees is transitional and asylum seekers need delivered through refugee employment and Employment: The Effect of Visible Difference on transitional housing during this time. recognised by ILM employer participants. Discrimination. Final Report. Murdoch University, Western Australia When approached many employers Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce (VECCI) are willing to offer work placements and Skills Survey 2006 12 Discussion Paper No. 1/2010
  13. 13. Key issues faced by asylum seekers needing emergency and transitional recently responded to asylum seekers accommodation include: Asylum seekers’ agencies for emergency and transitional homelessness needs to accommodation; be included in a national response adequate emergency and transitional accommodation response; The impact of homelessness on accommodation options; settlement of on-shore refugees accommodation is allocated predominantly including asylum seekers. guidelines do not disqualify asylum seekers from accessing emergency accommodation, ‘The Road Home’ destitution and uncertainty for a prolonged accommodation for all in need by 2020 not true. ‘The Road Home’ is a recurrent funding to assist asylum seekers “There should be no wrong doors for people who are homeless when they seek help”. once being granted permanent residency Once granted a permanent protection and transitional accommodation. is not suitable or sustainable for ongoing tenancy. Currently asylum seekers are programs. Discussion Paper No. 1/2010 13
  14. 14. Strategic Settlement Framework Laying stronger foundations to make us a world leader in settlement sustainable settlement outcomes. By services. this I mean working with the client to This year, our Government undertook identify their strengths and providing the to consult extensively with the sector necessary tools to advance them along as a basis for forming the new model of their settlement pathway. settlement services. The public response The Minister and I are looking to set was inspiring. out a new settlement framework – to In total we held 17 community provide a continuum from offshore to and Government consultations and onshore to deliver long term sustainable 11 focus groups with refugees. 460 settlement outcomes. This continuum individuals representing 210 community covers the broad range of settlement organisations and more than 80 services delivered by the Department Government agencies participated and of Immigration and Citizenship shared their views. Most importantly we including our offshore Australian met with 195 refugees from 18 different Cultural Orientation (AUSCO), IHSS, nationalities. the Settlement Grants Program, Adult As Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary Migrant English Program, Complex Case for Multicultural Affairs, I meet regularly Support and interpreting services. with refugee groups – Sudanese, Somali, We must ensure these programs work Hazara, Sierra Leonean, and Burmese. cooperatively to support our clients However, it is a different experience to on their pathway to independence. From the Hon sit and listen to their accounts of going The pathway for clients between these Laurie Ferguson MP through the services we provide. programs needs to be as seamless as Parliamentary Secretary for The consultations confirmed that possible. Multicultural Affairs & Settlement the fundamentals of the Integrated The framework will lay the foundations Services Humanitarian Settlement Strategy for an integrated service delivery The promise of protection only begins (IHSS) program (the core services) are network that will support new arrivals to with a refugee visa. Disembarking at a still relevant and appropriate. In fact rebuild their lives in Australia. crowded airport, often with no English, these are a front on which we are an At the crucial centre of the new no understanding of the world you have acknowledged world leader. settlement framework are our clients. entered, and no idea where you are to However the consultations also We must not lose sight of this and must be taken, is both a point of desperation revealed gaps and issues around develop programs that are client- and an act of trust. Leaving everything isolation, lack of youth engagement, centred and achieve real and practical problems accessing housing, outcomes. that is familiar would send fear and employment and training and some It is a matter of working with clients trepidation through most of us. weaknesses in cultural orientation. to build their capacity to deal with the Protection should mean security and In certain instances clients spoke of many barriers they will face along the safety; it should also mean a chance ‘tick and flick’ services, feeling as though way, and equally it is about identifying to build a new life. Refugees have they were not provided with enough their individual strengths and capacity to remarkable resilience and a great tangible assistance or support beyond contribute. willingness to contribute. Settlement the first few weeks. As you are all aware, since the last services are our commitment to provide On a national level, IHSS does a good tender of IHSS services, the complexity a means – a path – to achieve full job in meeting the immediate needs of the caseload has increased. We participation and to help them begin of refugees through services such as now receive many entrants who have their new life. airport pickups, household goods, lived in refugee camps for several Australia’s refugee program is an health checks, Centrelink and school years and children who may not have expression of humility and compassion; enrolment. known any other life. Many entrants it is about a fair go. However, settlement is as much a have no or low literacy in their own Organisations and dedicated mental and emotional re-alignment as language and no English skills. This is individuals that form Australia’s it is a physical relocation. We are less a result of no or interrupted education. settlement sector have worked tirelessly successful when it comes to creating Equally, a significant portion have had 14 Discussion Paper No. 1/2010
  15. 15. limited opportunities for employment intensity of support provided. We are almost 70 per cent of the current intake experience. Many arrive with health exploring options for innovative housing being under 30 years of age (and this needs and have experienced torture and solutions – including group housing trend likely to continue), we need to trauma. and other community housing models. ensure the needs of young people are For select clients, initial group housing not forgotten. So what does the future allows for services to be concentrated To that end there will be a stronger hold for settlement and structured around their needs. focus on youth – with greater Vulnerable clients will benefit from support? increased contact time, intensive case consideration of the individual needs of our young refugees. The program The first step in building a management, comprehensive cultural will provide entrants with more effective new settlement framework is the orientation, group based learning and redevelopment of the initial settlement links to other settlement and community collective support structures. For clients services model, currently known as the programs and stronger connections who may face issues of isolation it will IHSS. with community supports such as ethnic create opportunities to form friendships We will provide entrants with greater organisations, and recreation and social and links which are the basis of a new life. hands-on support and guidance groups. However, group housing will not to navigate Australian systems, to A number of clients reported to me work in all places or for all clients. For understand Australian culture and to during consultations that they were many clients, settling directly into a new give them every chance to make it in community and locality and connecting not introduced to their local ethnic Australia. We will be more responsive to to local facilities through hub-style community and only became acquainted client needs. services will deliver the best settlement by chance meetings with people from We will strengthen the flexible client- outcomes. their home country in the streets or centred approach to case management Accommodation should be about a shops. Connections with ethnic and that we currently have – working directly flexible approach based on the needs of cultural groups soon after arrival can with clients, tapping into their strengths, the client. often combat feelings of loneliness and building on them, and developing their Consultations have confirmed our isolation. I see this as an important capacity in other areas. Emphasis views that structured onshore cultural function of an initial settlement program. will be placed on tailoring case orientation is lacking under the current We must remember that an initial management to individual needs. program. Resounding support was settlement program such as IHSS During a client focus group in Brisbane received from those clients we met can only do so much. In outlining the one client told us that he had been a bus for the introduction of an onshore new directions, I am not talking about driver for more than 20 years in his home orientation program that reinforces guaranteeing that on exit from this country of Burundi. He said he would and builds on the messages delivered program every client will be successfully love to work as a bus driver but he did through AUSCO. Many clients settled – because realistically speaking not know how to get a licence or how to commented that AUSCO gave them settlement is a lifelong process. get Australian workplace experience – some good basic information but they What we are looking at is a program experience that would mean Australian often found it difficult to contextualise built around sustainable settlement bus companies would hire him. This and absorb. outcomes, strength based case story too often resonated throughout The purpose of delivering an onshore management, competency based the consultations, with clients stuck in a cultural orientation program is to transitions and client focused service. vortex of ‘no Australian experience – no equip entrants with information and We recognise that not all refugees start Australian jobs’. knowledge to assist them become from the same point and not all entrants Along with English proficiency, lawful and participating members of our and participation in community life, settle at the same pace. To this end, the community. Such a program will present employment is a key settlement marker. information about Australian social and new initial settlement program will be Effective case management is about cultural norms, law and order, finance client-centred, flexible and adaptable. working with clients to identify their and budgeting, tenancy issues, health Adaptation of speech delivered 25 September 2009 path to meaningful and appropriate literacy and much more. in Brisbane. The contents of this article is not to be employment. Emphasis will be on skill development taken as documentation relating to the IHSS request for tender. Tenders must rely on information in the official Part of a client-centred approach lies and competency-based learning rather tender documents. Please check AusTender for further also in the capacity to be flexible in the than time-based service delivery. With information. Discussion Paper No. 1/2010 15
  16. 16. Settlement services in New Zealand: an overview From Refugee Services that there is delight in finding the world progress of refugees after ten years of Aotearoa New Zealand on our doorstep, and many involve settlement, based on indicators of good themselves in refugee resettlement. More integration. This principle is also implicit The present strength of the refugee recently the support of the receiving in a strengthening of the concept of resettlement programme in New Zealand community has been further enhanced individualised settlement planning which has evolved over the last thirty years by regional responses to involve will be led by Refugee Services, across and is built on a national structure that the ‘tangata whenua’, or indigenous major settlement themes and indicators is unique internationally. All refugees population, in ceremonies of welcome for of integration. arrive at the Mangere Refugee Reception refugee groups on arrival from Mangere Various NGOs and refugee Centre in Auckland, where they receive into the permanent settlement location. communities themselves are involved six weeks of multi-agency assessment, Refugee support programmes guide in local examples of community ESOL and orientation support, followed towards integration, and a high level of development which bear testimony by placement and case management by achievement of independent functioning to thriving and developing refugee a national resettlement NGO, Refugee is achieved after the first year from those communities – income generation Services, into six locations across New who have not been highly traumatised. sewing projects, gardening projects Zealand. The numbers of young former refugees to encourage the growth of local In the next stage of initial settlement who are emerging from tertiary education produce for economy and health, in the community, intensive support is is being tracked by some ethnic swimming projects, soccer teams provided to each family through Refugee communities, and numbers of graduates becoming integrated into local soccer Service’s caseworkers, social workers, increase every year. clubs, culturally appropriate womens’ cross-cultural workers and volunteers, so As the refugee sector has become community ESOL classes at which that sustainable connections are made to their babies are welcome – the list is more cohesive in recent years, respectful local communities for housing, schools, relationships have been built between constantly growing, and emerges from medical care and local services. all players, based on a national engagement between refugee ethnic New Zealand society has become settlement strategy led by government, groups and local funding. more culturally diverse in the last decade and developing regional strategies. Specific challenges still need to be and ethnic and language differences However a national refugee policy is still addressed. In the wake of the global are no longer such a novelty. This to be developed. This would provide a recession, how do resettlement agencies has produced a more mature and more robust framework within which to manage their budget costs effectively? understanding receiving community, develop engagement and partnership One way this is being dealt with is to which on the whole is positive and between government, NGOs and refugee strengthen partnerships within the sector. welcoming of refugees. This change communities. Work needs to be done to identify the has been underpinned by government What has already emerged is a specific costs of various levels of support policy on diversity, so that integration strengthened information flow with needs, and to ensure that there is a is encouraged and supported. Local settlement planning across all agencies, match to the provider of services – in festivals of celebration provide the and communication in post-Mangere health, social support or education. opportunity for a wider cross section reports to the resettlement agencies, Some direct funding cuts have affected of New Zealand society to enjoy the including NGOs and government refugee entitlement to study support, richness of food, dance and story departments. especially the cessation of the Refugee telling brought by former refugees, The most recent addition to the Study Grants. Refugees are also affected and give refugees an opportunity to refugee sector has been a national indirectly as a small minority group, proudly display their culture as part of refugee network developed by former by the impact of policy cuts – cuts in the increasing ethnic diversity of New refugees themselves – the articulation of community education which reduces Zealand communities. the refugee voice in advocacy and policy funding for certain refugee specific The strong culture of support from making. benefits, more pressure on state housing local communities has been captured A significant research programme from the wider community, and fewer and formalised in a volunteer programme is being conducted by Immigration employment opportunities. managed by Refugee Services. New Zealand, the major government Like all resettlement countries, New Motivation for becoming involved in a department managing the resettlement Zealand experiences limited family volunteer support group is wide ranging, programme, known as “Ten Years On’. reunion opportunities and this is but New Zealanders’ love of travel means The research aims to measure the recognised as one the most significant 16 Discussion Paper No. 1/2010
  17. 17. stressors for refugees. Although it is one – a telephone link (often to Australia) is consequent difficulty in providing of the key components to facilitate good is useful, but face to face interpreting interpreting support or a stable emerging settlement, requests for family reunion of requires capacity development. community. extended family members far outstrips New Zealand has a long history of In spite of these stresses, New the mechanisms for applications within responsiveness to UNHCR requests for Zealand has a well connected refugee the Refugee Family Support Category, of the acceptance of emergency, vulnerable sector, committed to finding capacity 300 places per annum. or high needs cases. However this can Interpreting requirements from result in groups where the numbers solutions and ensuring that the refugee communities also outstrips the capacity are too small to appoint ethnic staff programme remains well accepted at the of government agencies to provide them from their own communities, and there heart of our increasingly diverse society. An early example of refugee resettlement circa 1950s. After years in a German camp, one family prepares to start life afresh in New Zealand.

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