Sunday, 21 June 2009

world refugee day

i'm still being troubled with my health, meaning i'm not sleeping too well plus can't seem to shake the cough i've had for a couple of weeks. hence i'm falling behind with all my non-paid-employment work. i'm wondering at this stage how i apply for annual leave from all of that, when i know others are depending on me. sigh. i'll think about it tomorrow.

in the meantime, i've put up a short post at the hand mirror to belatedly mark world refugee day.

and i'd like to reproduce a press release which i can't find on the internet from the migrant action trust, who do some wonderful work:

Migrant forum demands immediate action from the government.
More than 160 migrants attended a forum organized by the Migrant Action Trust on Saturday 30 May at the Windy Ridge Primary School on the North Shore. The Trust is a community organization that works on behalf of migrants.

Migrant participants of the forum made it clear that their priority as residents and workers in Aotearoa/ New Zealand was to contribute to New Zealand society and for New Zealand to acknowledge and value the contribution that migrants make to the economic and social fabric of the country. The migrants, representing a variety of countries but predominantly Filipinos and South Africans, were adamant that they did not wish to hold second class status in New Zealand.

The forum participants were in general agreement about the failure of the government to have a comprehensive and clear plan around migrant employment particularly the Work to Resident Proposal says the Trust’s Chairperson, Dr Camille Nakhid.

She further stated that the primary concern to the migrants was that they had been invited by New Zealand to apply for employment and residency in order that their skills and expertise could be used. On arrival here, they have found that employment conditions were less than ideal and New Zealand now had to hold its immigration department and employment institutions accountable for the adverse ways that migrants are treated. The situation is especially disconcerting for those migrants that gave up good employment opportunities and occupations in their home country to migrate here. The migrants want the government to realize that in the current economic climate, finding a job takes longer than expected even for New Zealand citizens. One of the migrants present who moved from a student permit to a work permit must find a job within 12 months, an unrealistic goal in these times. A number of migrants also lamented the fact that they had been invited to apply for permanent residency only to be made redundant and the exorbitant legal fees that they incurred in having to change their visa status.

Participants also told the two Members of Parliament present at the forum that immigration officers often provided incorrect and contradictory information and that there was inconsistency in the way that applications were being processed by immigration officials. The migrants claimed that they found the details in the immigration documents misleading and this was exacerbated by their encounters with unethical immigration consultants.

Pacific migrants were also concerned at their labour segmentation in the market place and the government’s discriminatory immigration policies of employing Pacific nations people to fill low wage and unskilled occupations.

Many migrants had been deeply offended by the Minister of Immigration Jonathan Coleman’s remarks which they said demonized migrants and allowed employers to discriminate against them in the workforce. They are calling on Mr. Coleman to retract his statement and to review his proposal to not renew or issue further work permits.

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