The Global Refugee Crisis
The displacement of people is a global issue. Right now, around the world, 59.5 million people are seeking a safe haven.
- 19.5 million are refugees who can't stay in their home country, and can't go back once they leave.
- 38.2 million are stateless – without the protection of government, residing illegally and not recognised as citizens.
- 1.8 million are asylum seekers – making a legal claim of asylum in a country not their own, under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14.
- Less than 1% of asylum seekers resettled
There are approximately 100,000 places per year for UNCHR (quota) refugees globally. New Zealand's contribution is dismal. The UN ranked NZ 88th in the world for accepting refugees.
NZ takes in 750 refugees a year through UNCHR, although we have recently agreed to take an extra 600 Syrian refugees over the next three years. Of 300 asylum claims per year, NZ grants refugee status to approximately 100.
Who are asylum seekers?
They are not migrants, who choose to resettle in another country. Asylum seekers are people who are forced to leave their home country in seek of protection. They are refugees, and they come in three categories:
Are selected for resettlement in NZ via UNHCR who have mandated their refugee status.
- Quota refugees tend to be part of a mass movement resulting from invasion or oppression, rather than individuals seeking asylum.
- Arrive with a New Zealand passport and full rights of all New Zealand Citizens.
- This group is supported by a six week orientation and follow up settlement services provided by NZ Red Cross.
- New Zealand accepts 750 Quota refugees a year.
Are refugees who claim refugee status on arriving at the border or after entering New Zealand.
- They are awaiting a decision on their refugee status. This group receive no support from the New Zealand Government.
- Arrive in New Zealand with the clothes on their back and make a claim of asylum.
- Often they require immediate support and assistance.
- New Zealand receives approximately 300 asylum claims per year.
Convention refugees are former asylum seekers who have been granted refugee status.
- Approximately one third of asylum seekers in NZ are successful in gaining refugee status.
- Even though they are granted refugee status they receive no dedicated settlement support services from the New Zealand Government.