The sharp decrease in the number of resettlement places at the time of greatest need and protecting the core function of resettlement as a protection tool were two of the key themes discussed when representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), governments and NGOs from resettlement states and other inter-governmental bodies gathered in Geneva for the 2018 Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement (ATCR).
Representation at the ATCR
Organised by UNHCR, the German Government and Caritas Germany, the 2018 ATCR took place on 25-27 June. It brought together representatives of 29 nations involved in resettlement, including 85 representatives of 28 governments and 57 NGO delegates from 22 countries, 4 refugee representatives, 53 UNHCR staff, 13 staff of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 23 delegates from various international non-government organisations, 8 representatives of the European Union and the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees, and a representative from International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The Australian Government was represented by three officials of the Department of Home Affairs while the Australian NGO representatives present were from Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), Settlement Council of Australia (SCoA), AMES Australia, Settlement Services International (SSI), Victorian Foundation of Survivors of Torture (VFST) and Amnesty International Australia. Simon Sang Hre, a Melbourne-based member of the Chin community with experience in working with refugee communities, human rights organisations and the International Rescue Committee in Kuala Lumpur, was Australia’s refugee representative. Simon was active throughout the dialogue, highlighting the issues faced by different refugee communities from Myanmar, from Chin to Rohingya communities.