What is the future for Syrian refugees in Lebanon?

A great deal continues to happen in the Middle East- from the attacks on Saudi oil production facilities, and on-going tensions with Iran to the Israeli election, where Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have lost but may yet be able to form a coalition, which he failed to do in April. It's a wait and see situation. But instead of looking at any of thes...
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Barriers for refugees in NZ with employment and heathcare

Press Release: 24 September 2018- Christchurch, New Zealand

 Failure to speak English is the main barrier refugees face when looking for employment and accessing healthcare.

 Other barriers to finding employment include discrimination- ethnic and gender- a lack of local work experience and a failure by employers to recognise qualifications gained outside New Zealand.

 These are discussed further in a study carried out by the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRRC). This study gathered information on the challenges refugees face when seeking employment, the quality of that employment, the state of refugee health and the ability of refugees to access health services.

 The information was elicited from refugees themselves via a questionnaire. “Although the survey was conducted among refugees in Christchurch and its surrounds, the answers can be extrapolated to the rest of New Zealand,” one of the co-researchers, Sumaiya Nasir, general manager of the CRRRC said.

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Political amnesia in Washington

The Palestinian-Israeli crisis is becoming increasingly worse. Any hope of a peace accord is looking highly unlikely. Listening to the news you would think that the Palestinians are entirely to blame.

Khaled Elgindy from the Brookings Institute explains.

 Political amnesia in Washington: From the Nakba to the occupation

Within less than a generation, both the political significance of the Nakba and the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were all but forgotten in Washington, writes Khaled Elgindy. This piece originally appeared in Foreign Policy.

This week’s protests at the Gaza border were the largest—and deadliest — since Palestinians began what organizers have dubbed the “Great March of Return” some six weeks ago. The protests culminated on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”), during which most of Palestine’s Arab population was expelled from the British-mandated territory in the course of Israel’s creation. Approximately 70 percent of Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians are registered refugees from lands in what is now Israel.

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Refugee Reflections: a newsletter by the CRRRC

Refugee Reflections, the newsletter of the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRRC) is produced to bring people in the communities up to date with what the CRRRC has been up to. It's an insightful read. Here is some of what the newsletter says.

Refugee Reflections

Annual Regional Refugee Forum 2018

Canterbury Refugee Resettlement & Resource Centre organised its annual regional forum on Thursday the 15th of March which was another outstanding success. This year’s theme was the challenges facing refugee youth, and attendees heard a variety of speakers from the health and academic sectors as well as a panel discussion of articulate and ambitious young people.

In a year which is already proving remarkable for youth both locally and internationally, we were very privileged to hear the voices of refugee youth speaking on issues of concern in a way that bodes extremely well for refugee background communities and for the wider New Zealand society we are all a part of.

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What the UN can learn from Turkey about refugees

The subject of refugees always evokes a mix of emotions. Some people believe that refugees detract from the local community; others that they enhance it and give back more than they take from society. I’m in the latter camp but that’s because I’ve undertaken research on the matter. (I’ve made a documentary on the subject.: “Stepping Up: NZ’s response to the refugee crisis. https://www.luciadore.com/blog/stepping-up-nz-s-response-to-the-refugee-crisis).

I continue to do research on the subject. Indeed, I’m undertaking ongoing research with the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRRC) (http://www.canterburyrefugeecentre.org.nz/) where we’re looking at employment and health.

So this article that was published in the Brookings Brief was both timely and enlightening. What will New Zealand learn about the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR).

 

What the UN can learn from Turkey about refugees

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The challenges that face Ethiopians in New Zealand

Ethiopians living in New Zealand face a number of challenges.  These will be discussed at a community meeting to be held at 474 Great North Road, Auckland. on November 4.

The guest speaker will be Mr Abebe Gellaw, an international journalist who is executive director of Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio (ESAT TV) and will be available for interview until November 8. Please contact Nestanet Kassa  on 0278054332 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gellaw works at Stanford University where, in 2008-09, he was the John S. Knight Fellow for Professional Journalists and Yahoo International Fellow. He is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution and visiting scholar at the Centre on Democracy Development and Rule of Law. He is working on a book project, Ethiopia under Meles: Why the transition from military rule to democracy failed.

He began his career in journalism in 1993 as a freelance writer focusing on human rights and political issues. He worked for various print and online publications including the Ethiopian Herald, the only English daily in the country. Gellaw is also a founding editor of Addisvoice.com, a bilingual online journal focusing on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

The meeting will present a perspective on Ethiopia different from how it is often perceived, which is of a booming economy and adventure tourism.

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Employing refugees: how a hotel in Vienna does it

Refugees are instrumental in running a hotel in Austria. Could a similar project be rolled out in New Zealand? Lucia Dore asks the CEO of Magdas Social Enterprise, Gabriela Sonnleitner, to explain how it operates.  

Magdas Hotel, in Vienna, Austria, is a hotel with a difference. Run by 20 former refugees and 11 hotel professionals, in co-operation with artists, architects and students, it aims to improve the lives of marginalised people, refugees in particular.

Sixteen countries are represented at the hotel and 26 languages are spoken. Training is done on the job and in special courses supported by professionals and volunteers.

The refugees have “regular work and that gives them security and stability in their lives. With their loan they have a secure income, can pay for a flat and other things and are no longer dependent on social welfare. They can live a self contained life,” says Magdas’ general manager, Gabriela Sonnleitner.

Even though the hotel is a social enterprise, based on the work of Nobel peace prizewinner, Muhammed Yunus, (who founded the Grameen Bank and pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance) it is self-financing and all income is reinvested. It does not receive any public funding.

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How do refugees find work?

Refugees and other marginalised people often find it very hard to find work. But this is only one of the many obstacles that they  must overcome. The article below about an asylum seeker in New Zealand tells a story that is all too common. It will be published within a larger volume of research that is being undertaken with the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRRC).

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Documentary making: what to do

 

I came to documentary making from a journalistic background. This is a little unusual because most people come to it from a cinema-graphic background. I learned about videoing, sort up, about what cameras work, and what cameras don’t, mic-ing up, and editing- at least from a voyeuristic perspective.

 Briefly, I returned from the Middle East in February 2014, where I was head of a news service in Middle East and Africa. I knew that part of the world far better than I knew any other, so I wanted to produce something that used my knowledge of that area. That was difficult, not only because of the censorship laws operating in the region, which would have meant not filming there, but, as I found it later, any documentary had to be based in New Zealand and have a NZ perspective.

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UNWRA: healthcare and education

This article has been written as part of a research project that I'm undertaking on behalf of and in conjunction with the Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRRC). The research will come out in September. 

A case study of UNWRA working with Palestinian refugees

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Accessing the right information in crisis situations can be crucial

This article appeared in the last newsletter distributed by the Canterbury Refugee and Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRRC)- formerly the Canterbury Refugee Council. In this article Lucia Dore and Melisande Middleton, founder of the Center for Internet & Media Ethics (CIME), discuss how information flows matter in crisis situations, even in small, far away countries like New Zealand.

During the civil war in Afghanistan (1989-92) Iran opened its borders to refugees but not many people knew about this, cites an Afghan familiar with the situation. “Many people fled to there and sought safe haven and temporary education for their kids. Many didn’t hear about it and stayed and I know many people who lost their loved ones because they didn’t know that Iran had finally opened the border.”

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Accessing the right information in crisis situations

How accessing the right information in crisis situations can be crucial

In this article Lucia Dore and Melisande Middleton, founder of the Center for Internet & Media Ethics (CIME), discuss how information flows matter in crisis situations, even in small, far away countries like New Zealand.

 During the civil war in Afghanistan (1989-92) Iran opened its borders to refugees but not many people knew about this, cites an Afghan familiar with the situation. “Many people fled to there and sought safe haven and temporary education for their kids. Many didn’t hear about it and stayed and I know many people who lost their loved ones because they didn’t know that Iran had finally opened the border.”

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New Zealand’s Refugee Report Card

A campaign to increase New Zealand's refugee quota started two years ago, when I completed a documentary: "Stepping up: NZ's response to the refugee crisis" https://www.luciadore.com/blog/stepping-up-nz-s-response-to-the-refugee-crisis. 

Amnesty International then endorsed it. In it, I point out that while I agree with increasing the refugee quota, any increase should also go hand-in-hand with an increase in government funding. Refugees will only do well if they have employment, have educational prospects, overcome any language barrier and have good access to healthcare. The Canterbury Refugee Resettlement and Resource Centre (CRR&RC), formerly, the Canterbury Refugee Council (CRC) and I are about to embark on a study to investigate these issues further.

In the meantime, Tracey Barnett, has written this great article about NZ's response to the refugee crisis so far.

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The forgotten NZ deal behind Trump’s phone call

Amidst the frenzy of President Trump's first two week's in office, and of his phone calls with other world leaders, including the prime minister of NZ, Bill English, the plight of refugees has been forgotten. What does the new American vision mean for refugee policy and for New Zealand in particular? In this article, Tracey Barnett, founds out.

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Refugees; How should NZ respond

New Zealand Emigrants

I recently made a documentary about the treatment of refugees in New Zealand. It's entitled "Stepping Up: New Zealand's response to the refugee crisis" and looks at some of the issues NZ faces with refugees coming into the country, including statistics of how the country compares with the rest of the world. (For more about this project go to the filmmaking section of this website).

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