RCOA staff worked alongside Australian NGO and refugee community advocates from 15 organisations to participate in a range of international meetings in Geneva in and around the annual UNHCR NGO Consultations, held this year from 15-17 June.
A core part of the work of the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is raising concerns about Australian refugee policy. On 21 June 2016, we talked to UNHCR’s Division of International Protection about these issues as part of their consultations with NGOs in Geneva.
What did we talk about?
We spoke about the urgent need to help those on Nauru and Manus Island. UNHCR agreed that offshore processing was unsustainable and was far out of step with international norms.
We spoke about the urgent need to protect children at risk, extending beyond those who were unaccompanied. UNHCR encouraged Australia to follow the United Kingdom in developing a program to resettle children at risk. UNHCR also asked for support from NGOs in conducting Best Interests Determinations for children in the region. We also spoke about the capacity of Australian NGOs to support UNHCR in helping victims of torture and trauma.
For more information, read the full report of the meeting.