Supporting people forced to flee their homelands
This month we look at how NZ can better support people who are forced to flee their homelands. Speakers discuss NZs refugee and asylum seeker policy, and the lived experience of people navigating the system from application through to resettlement and support services. They look at NZ’s commitments, quotas, and they raise some questions around equality.
Rachel O’Connor is the Lead Advisor to the Race Relations Commissioner, at the NZ Human Rights Commission. She previously worked for the NZ Red Cross, managing their national migration programmes including the refugee quota community settlement programme.
Bernard Sama came to New Zealand from the Southern Cameroons seeking protection from New Zealand as an asylum seeker and was formally recognised as a refugee in 2008. Following the positive outcome of his application, he had several years of what he now describes as difficulties coping in New Zealand as a refugee, and separation for a decade from his family. He successfully reunited with his immediate family from the Cameroons in 2019 and lives with them in Auckland. Bernard chairs the Asylum Seekers Support Trust and is a cultural advisor for Refugees As Survivors New Zealand. He is also in the final year of a PhD study at the University of Auckland. His research, supervised by Professor Jay Marlowe and Dr Anna Hood, explores how the therapeutic jurisprudence perspective could inform and improve the New Zealand refugee status determination procedure.
Jay Marlowe is a professor of social work and co-director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on refugee studies and settlement futures as it relates to migration policy, role of technologies and disaster risk reduction. In 2019 he became a Rutherford Discovery Fellow to pursue a 5 year research programme related to refugee settlement trajectories. As a social worker and former visiting fellow with the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University, he has worked with refugee communities as a practitioner and researcher publishing more than 80 peer reviewed papers.