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Latest reports

2014 UNHCR-NGO Consultations

In June 2014, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) joined Australian representatives of refugee communities and non-government organisations (NGOs) in a series of meetings in Geneva. The main gathering was the 2014 UNHCR Annual Consultations with NGOs (held on 17-19 June), with additional discussions between Australian delegates and senior officials of UNHCR on 16 and 20 June.
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2015 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR)

RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power and Teju Chouhan of Albury-Wodonga’s Bhutanese community were among delegates to the 2015 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR) in Geneva from 29 June to 1 July. The meeting explored current refugee resettlement trends and priorities, highlighting the compelling need for more resettlement places to be made available to expand durable solutions for refugees.
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2015 High Commissioner’s Dialogue – Root causes of displacement

On 16-17 December 2015, the retiring UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, hosted the last of his annual dialogues on protection challenges, focusing on the topic “Understanding and addressing root causes of displacement”. This was the first gathering of its kind to bring together states, UN bodies and civil society representatives to discuss the factors which cause displacement.
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65th session of the UNHCR Executive Committee

The 2014 ExCom meeting took place from 29 September to 3 October. The meeting began with a high-level discussion on enhancing international cooperation, solidarity, local capacities and humanitarian action for refugees in Africa. During the general debate and session on international protection, UNHCR personnel, governments and NGOs drew attention to a range of key protection challenges, including the dramatic rise in the number of forcibly displaced people across the world; the pressures faced by countries hosting large numbers of refugees, particularly those bordering Syria; the protection issues resulting from the increase in flight by sea; and the importance of addressing the root causes of displacement. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered a special address to the ExCom during which he spoke of his own experience of being forced to flee during the Korean War.
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66th session of the UNHCR Executive Committee

The 2015 ExCom meeting took place from 5 to 9 October. The meeting focused largely on the continued deterioration in the global displacement crisis, including ongoing shortfalls in humanitarian funding and the inadequate protection which precipitated the movement of refugees towards Europe. The meeting also included a High-Level Segment on the Afghan refugee situation.
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A better way: Regional cooperation

Over the past two decades, Australian policy responses to the arrival of asylum seekers by boat have focused overwhelmingly on deterrence, aiming to discourage asylum seekers from travelling to Australia without authorisation through weakening, or blocking access to, protection in Australia.
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A place to call home? The impact of Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker policies on community cohesion

In recent years, numerous concerns have been raised bout policies and practices which undermine the successful settlement of people from refugee backgrounds, in turn posing significant obstacles to community cohesion. This paper focuses on three such issues: the treatment of asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat, including the denial of permanent residency to those found to be refugees; the limited opportunities for family reunion available to refugee and humanitarian entrants; and the negative public and political debate on refugee and asylum seeker policy.
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A platform for change: Reforming Australian refugee policy

In 2017, a wide range of actors from across the Australian refugee sector and movement worked together to articulate a platform for reform of Australian refugee policy in 2018 and beyond. This joint platform sets out the problems of refugee policy in Australia and, more importantly, what we think are the solutions.
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Addressing the pain of separation for refugee families

Our new report summarises both the continuing and new concerns expressed to the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) during our annual national consultations and other discussions with service providers and refugee community members. It proposes alternatives for positive reforms that will benefit those seeking protection in Australia and the humanitarian arrivals and ultimately enhance the outcomes for our entire community.
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