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UNHCR Canberra NGO Consultations: 13 April 2018

The Annual UNHCR Consultations with the Australian Non-Governmental Organizations were held on Friday 13 April 2018, at the Australian National University.

The Consultation provided an opportunity for Australian NGOs to share experiences and knowledge in the areas of settlement, Australia’s compliance with international human rights law, key issues and responses on Manus Island, tackling discrimination against young Australians of refugee background and the impact of family separation and uncertainty on refugees and asylum-seekers in Australia. A dynamic dialogue took place on these issues, and many more.

Later in the afternoon, individuals were separated into different working groups to discuss and come up with a tangible action plan by the end of the session. The action plans from the 4 working groups were then shared with all the attendees. These covered areas including:

  • ongoing protection concerns for asylum seekers in Australia;
  • Australia’s responsibility for Nauru and Manus Island;
  • The Convention Against Torture; and
  • Communication and engagement.

Days like this are unique and SCoA enjoyed the ability to engage with many of our members as well as other stakeholders from across Australia who are united by a common goal of improving refugee outcomes globally.

In concluding the consultation, the attendees were surprised with a performance by Mr. Ror Akot, a South Sudanese hip hop artist from Melbourne. His performance was outstanding.