A new panel which will enable refugees to play a key role in national decisions that affect them is looking for members.

The Refugee Advisory Panel is a joint initiative between the University of Auckland’s Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies (CAPRS), Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT) and Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

It aims to be a collaborative place for former refugee communities, groups and organisations to represent themselves and advocate collectively on Aoteaora’s refugee strategies and policies.

People who have expertise in issues like gender, economic inclusion, protection, or resettlement, and who have shown leadership in a refugee-led or refugee-serving organisation are encouraged to apply.

Applicants need to have held refugee status, sought asylum, or experienced displacement and resettled in New Zealand, says Professor Jay Marlowe, co-director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Refugee Studies.

“Panel members will represent Aotearoa’s collective refugee community, which is why we need applicants with demonstrated refugee experience and leadership.”
 

It aims to be a collaborative place for former refugee communities, groups and organisations to represent themselves and advocate collectively on Aoteaora’s refugee strategies and policies.

International lawyer and human rights activist Rez Gardi, a co-founder of CAPRS and R-Seat's managing director, says the big vision is for refugees to play a major role in decision-making globally. No decisions are to be made about refugees without refugees.

“I’m so pleased to be involved in establishing this panel with CAPRS and INZ. It’s a reflection of the Government’s commitment to the refugee community and aligns with New Zealand’s Refugee Resettlement Strategy, which aims for refugees to have a strong sense of belonging to their own community and country.”

Applications close on 12 June 2022 and after the selection process is completed, the panel of seven members will begin their two-year term in early July 2022.

More information about the panel and application process is available here or by emailing nzrap@refugeesseat.org.

 

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Julianne Evans | Media adviser
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E: julianne.evans@auckland.ac.nz