Children holding on to barbed wireAs part of its work, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) hears from refugee communities in Australia about the issues affecting their communities overseas. On 20 June 2016, we asked UNHCR’s Asia Bureau about some of these issues as part of their consultations with NGOs in Geneva.

What did we talk about?

The Oromo community are concerned about the quality of the Oromo interpreters available to asylum seekers in Indonesia.

Members of the Mandaean diaspora in Australia raised concerns about discrimination by  UNHCR staff in Indonesia.

Our youth delegates spoke about the lack of support and resources for all those seeking asylum in Indonesia and Malaysia. Another spoke of how some asylum seekers felt inhibited by the stressful environment in UNHCR offices in Malaysia. and were unable to speak about their situation, while the UNHCR suggested that the construed stressful environment is the result of a necessary formality in the status determination process.

People in Australia connected to  refugees on Nauru have raised particular concern about the safety of LGTBI refugees living in community housing.

Read about how UNHCR responded by reading our full report of the meeting.