20 June 2007
by Susan Watson
Mr Huang Guohua escaped to NZ with his daughter Kaixin in 2006. Him and his wife were tortured for several years in labour camps before Chinese authorities beat to death his three-month-pregnant wife. Both were illegally detained for practicing Falun Gong in China. (Epoch Times, June 2007)Auckland, New Zealand:
The number of refugees in the world has increased for the first time since 2002, largely as a result of the crisis in Iraq, the United Nations refugee agency announced on Tuesday.
June 20 marks the sixth anniversary of the UN's World Refugee Day. Each year New Zealand accepts 750 UN refugees, from a variety of countries.
RMS Refugee Resettlement Northern Regional Manager Jill Conway said about 40 percent of the 750 refugees resettle in the wider Auckland region.
"The refugees bring with them a huge amount of strength as survivors, that is what they bring with them to New Zealand," she said.
New Zealand is one of around 14 countries that accepts United Nations refugees, she said.
"New Zealand's approach is a part of a humanitarian programme. Of the 750 that we except, 10 percent are women at risk, and 10 percent have disabilities, who may not have the opportunity to settle in other countries," she said.
She said there were many ways people could help refugees, such as volunteering for RMS.
"Refugees resettlement is a more positive experience if they have the opportunity to meet and talk to their neighbours," she said.
The UNHCR's "2006 Global Trends" report shows the number of refugees under the agency's mandate rising last year by 14 percent to almost 10 million, the highest level since 2002.
If you can volunteer for RMS Refugee Resettlement, helping refugees with their transition to New Zealand, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Auckland 629 6421.