Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND Because of our remote geographic location, New Zealand has not yet had to contend.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND Because of our remote geographic location, New Zealand has not yet had to contend."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND Because of our remote geographic location, New Zealand has not yet had to contend with asylum boat arrivals or people smuggling operations as currently is being experienced in northern Australian territorial waters. The issue has been terribly polarising and divisive for Australia. Yet many of the people seeking asylum are so desperate to escape the dangers and conditions in their countries of origin or transition that they will risk their lives to seek any safe haven. If the future predictions of boat arrivals eventually prove correct, how prepared will New Zealand be to receive them and respond humanely? How will New Zealand continue to uphold its international reputation for fairness and humanitarian practices under similar pressure as faced by Australia? Because of our remote geographic location, New Zealand has not yet had to contend with asylum boat arrivals or people smuggling operations as currently is being experienced in northern Australian territorial waters. The issue has been terribly polarising and divisive for Australia. Yet many of the people seeking asylum are so desperate to escape the dangers and conditions in their countries of origin or transition that they will risk their lives to seek any safe haven. If the future predictions of boat arrivals eventually prove correct, how prepared will New Zealand be to receive them and respond humanely? How will New Zealand continue to uphold its international reputation for fairness and humanitarian practices under similar pressure as faced by Australia? Boat People, Public Policy and Humanitarian Alternatives to Detention

2 Why Governments Detain Asylum Seekers and Intending Irregular Migrants? Underlying reasons why governments around the world detain irregular migrants include (Field 2006): - Deterrence of future Asylum Seekers or irregular migrants from making attempts to enter (proven conclusively NOT to work) - Providing a sense of control (political) over territorial borders - Responding (reacting) to political pressures and concerns of segments of the public - In relatively rare cases, addressing identity or genuine security issues MIGRATION AS A MAJOR POLITICAL ISSUE IN THE 21 ST CENTURY

3 Control of its own borders is a key test of the sovereignty of a country and a necessary and essential responsibilty of government : Control of its own borders is a key test but Control of its own borders is a key test but Neither Australia nor New Zealand are in any danger of losing border control Neither Australia nor New Zealand are in any danger of losing border control Quickly, it becomes a political football and govts back themselves into corners Quickly, it becomes a political football and govts back themselves into corners Hence, the myths such as ‘queue-jumping’ Hence, the myths such as ‘queue-jumping’

4 Actual Asylum Claims Table 1. New Zealand Asylum Refugee Claims by YEAR NUMBER OF CLAIMS LODGED NUMBER OF APPROVED CLAIMS Total Source: Immigration NZ (2009)

5 Fiscal Year Detained MAC Detained Prison Total Detained ACTUAL ANALYSIS OF DETENTION IN NZ

6 Overwhelming Evidence: Effects of Detention on People Depression and psychological disorders, suicides in adults Depression and psychological disorders, suicides in adults Permanent damage to children in disorders and learning impairments Permanent damage to children in disorders and learning impairments In children regressive behaviours, social withdrawal In children regressive behaviours, social withdrawal Both physical and mental illness Both physical and mental illness Refer to literature references in text Refer to literature references in text

7 Lessons from Australia DO’s and DON’T’s DO’s and DON’T’s DO engage in a well-informed, rational debate on what should happen in the event of a boat arrival in NZ territorial waters well before it actually occurs DO engage in a well-informed, rational debate on what should happen in the event of a boat arrival in NZ territorial waters well before it actually occurs DO avoid allowing the issue to become a highly charged and divisive political football DO avoid allowing the issue to become a highly charged and divisive political football DO engage in bi-partisan, multi-party discussions to agree in principle what should happen when a boat eventually arrives. Base this on international best practice and the humanitarian principles for which New Zealand is internationally known DO engage in bi-partisan, multi-party discussions to agree in principle what should happen when a boat eventually arrives. Base this on international best practice and the humanitarian principles for which New Zealand is internationally known DO have a clear, effective, transparent plan in place to process and accommodate those arriving DO have a clear, effective, transparent plan in place to process and accommodate those arriving

8 Lessons from Australia DO have in place accommodation, medical care, legal assistance and a proper mechanism for rapid processing of any asylum claims under international and domestic law DO have in place accommodation, medical care, legal assistance and a proper mechanism for rapid processing of any asylum claims under international and domestic law DO treat the arrivals humanely, courteously and with respect. Treat asylum seekers as you would wish to be treated yourself if you had to flee your country DO treat the arrivals humanely, courteously and with respect. Treat asylum seekers as you would wish to be treated yourself if you had to flee your country DO provide rapid processing of claims and don’t leave asylum seekers in limbo or languishing in detention for long periods of time DO provide rapid processing of claims and don’t leave asylum seekers in limbo or languishing in detention for long periods of time When a claim has failed and appeals are exhausted, act rapidly and fairly to try to achieve a voluntary repatriation or transfer, with deportation as a last resort When a claim has failed and appeals are exhausted, act rapidly and fairly to try to achieve a voluntary repatriation or transfer, with deportation as a last resort

9 Lessons from Australia DON’T put asylum seekers in fenced detention centres in the middle of the outback DON’T put asylum seekers in fenced detention centres in the middle of the outback DON’T put women and children in detention at all – it harms them seriously as well as harming the society which allows or carries it out DON’T put women and children in detention at all – it harms them seriously as well as harming the society which allows or carries it out DON’T keep asylum seekers in detention for long periods at all. Research and experience around the world shows that community placement works best for all concerned DON’T keep asylum seekers in detention for long periods at all. Research and experience around the world shows that community placement works best for all concerned DON’T use hapless refugees to score political points or for scaremongering purposes DON’T use hapless refugees to score political points or for scaremongering purposes DON’T expect that putting asylum seekers in detention will have any effect at all on deterring others from coming – the overwhelming evidence shows it doesn’t and it won’t DON’T expect that putting asylum seekers in detention will have any effect at all on deterring others from coming – the overwhelming evidence shows it doesn’t and it won’t DON’T be closed to moving forward with a sound plan based on bi-partisan consensus or try to take full charge and do it your own way because you are in power and you can DON’T be closed to moving forward with a sound plan based on bi-partisan consensus or try to take full charge and do it your own way because you are in power and you can DON’T ignore the advice of UNHCR and experts who know what they are talking about DON’T ignore the advice of UNHCR and experts who know what they are talking about

10 Action Recommendations The importance of simple, consistent and coordinated messaging from the sector was noted, as was the power of personal stories of refugees in New Zealand. The importance of simple, consistent and coordinated messaging from the sector was noted, as was the power of personal stories of refugees in New Zealand. It was recommended that the sector investigate pooling resources or It was recommended that the sector investigate pooling resources or obtaining pro-bono assistance from a public relations firm to help promote ‘good obtaining pro-bono assistance from a public relations firm to help promote ‘good news stories’ of refugees, particularly asylum seekers in New Zealand. news stories’ of refugees, particularly asylum seekers in New Zealand. It was recommended that the sector use the Refugee Council of Australia fact It was recommended that the sector use the Refugee Council of Australia fact sheets as a guide to developing/customising ‘myth-busting’ information sheets as a guide to developing/customising ‘myth-busting’ information specific to New Zealand. specific to New Zealand. It was recommended that the sector share ‘friendly’ media contacts to increase the information and contacts in the sector available to those increase the information and contacts in the sector available to those journalists more likely to write positive stories. journalists more likely to write positive stories. It was recommended that the sector investigate an NGO-driven forum to It was recommended that the sector investigate an NGO-driven forum to come up with issues that would form the basis of sector-wide advocacy come up with issues that would form the basis of sector-wide advocacy campaigns each year. A media workshop, with journalists participants, could be part of such a forum to help build skills and understanding on both sides. campaigns each year. A media workshop, with journalists participants, could be part of such a forum to help build skills and understanding on both sides.

11 Media Messages: Connecting With Kiwi Values on Asylum 1. Self-sufficient/resourceful - ‘Kiwi can-do’ 2. Easy going/friendly/informal 3. Fair and principled (honest) 4. Modest (‘tall poppy’ syndrome) 5. Cautious/restrained 6. Everyone deserves a ‘fair go.’ THERE IS NO QUEUE TO JUMP THERE IS NO QUEUE TO JUMP

12 2012 Multi-party talks on common ground of policy in event of a sea arrival Multi-party talks on common ground of policy in event of a sea arrival Detailed plan for managing mass arrival Detailed plan for managing mass arrival Alternatives to detention: preparation for women and children particularly Alternatives to detention: preparation for women and children particularly Rapid processing Rapid processing Informing/educating public in advance Informing/educating public in advance


Download ppt "THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND THE REFUGEE COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND Because of our remote geographic location, New Zealand has not yet had to contend."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google