Our Voices Summary Report - 2016 Refugee Resettlement Quota Review

22 March 2016, 09:59 UTC | New Zealand

In December 2015, Amnesty International initiated a public submission process entitled Our Voices. This process allowed ordinary New Zealanders and community organisations working with former refugees to have their say on the country’s refugee resettlement quota.

Based on more than 750 submissions received from a diverse range of people and a full day of public hearings held at Parliament on 15 February 2016, it is safe to say there is huge public interest in seeing New Zealand’s refugee quota permanently – and significantly – increased.

The key message received from citizens, service providers, non-governmental organisations, local government, faith communities and former refugees themselves was that a refugee policy set nearly 30 years ago is out of step with today’s needs. As the world has changed dramatically, the New Zealand government should ask itself not how little but how much it can do to support those in need of safety and protection.

Refugee resettlement in New Zealand has seen great successes and is a model that is ready to be scaled-up, according to the people who deliver the services. Thousands of citizens across the country are also willing to lift their commitment and help to ensure positive settlement outcomes.

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