On March 1, in the lead up to International Women’s Day, the United Nations Information Centre Canberra, International Organization for Migration, the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Canberra Multicultural Women Forum held a community event to promote the ‘Together, Safety and Dignity for All Initiative’ . It was also an opportunity to promote the recent establishment of the Canberra Multicultural Women’s Forum. The rest of the story is here also on our website.
On March 1, in the lead up to International Women’s Day, the United Nations Information Centre Canberra, International Organization for Migration, the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and the Canberra Multicultural Women Forum held a community event to promote the ‘Together, Safety and Dignity for All Initiative’ . It was also an opportunity to promote the recent establishment of the Canberra Multicultural Women’s Forum (the Women’s Forum).
Opening the event the Chair of the Women’s Forum, Ms Laura Aoun noted that many of the people in the audience were living proof that those from migrant and refugee backgrounds have enriched Canberra and Australia more broadly in ‘more ways than we realize’.
The Director of the UNIC Canberra, Mr Christopher Woodthorpe, noted the similarities between the Women’s forum – which bases it work on equal participation of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds – and the UN’s Together Initiative – which seeks to promote the importance of such work. In closing he invited everyone to celebrate women, rejoice in diversity and to come together.
Chief of Mission for IOM, Mr Jo Appiah, in his speech said that “on International Women’s Day the International Organization for Migration (IOM) embraces the official United Nations theme, Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030, by honoring migrant women and girls and called for us all to take a moment to recognize not just their specific contributions but also their challenges”.
Inter-dispersed between speeches the over one hundred strong audience was privy to two fine performances – firstly by the local ACT Chinese Australian Association Ladies Dance Group followed by the pace of some very colorful Colombians.
The keynote speech of the night was given by Her Excellency the High Commissioner of Pakistan, Naela Chohan during which she said that “today there is a growing number of women in conflict situation compelled to become refugees and migrants. It is indeed among the most urgent humanitarian challenges of our times. Much of this displacement has neither been voluntary nor orderly. People particularly women and children have been fleeing from desperate conditions of conflict, war or poverty. These helpless women and children on the move, deserve compassion and humane treatment”.
28 January 2017 | Français | عربي
GENEVA – The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater, and the U.S. resettlement program is one of the most important in the world.
The longstanding U.S. policy of welcoming refugees has created a win-win situation: it has saved the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world who have in turn enriched and strengthened their new societies. The contribution of refugees and migrants to their new homes worldwide has been overwhelmingly positive.
Resettlement places provided by every country are vital. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the International Organization for Migration, hope that the U.S. will continue its strong leadership role and long tradition of protecting those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.
UNHCR and IOM remain committed to working with the U.S. Administration towards the goal we share to ensure safe and secure resettlement and immigration programmes.
We strongly believe that refugees should receive equal treatment for protection and assistance, and opportunities for resettlement, regardless of their religion, nationality or race.
We will continue to engage actively and constructively with the U.S. Government, as we have done for decades, to protect those who need it most, and to offer our support on asylum and migration matters.
In Washington, Chris Boian, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 202 489 6884
In Geneva, Vannina Maestracci, email@example.com, +41 79 108 3532
Diana Rahman, OAM Chair, Canberra Multicultural Community Forum and President of Australian Muslim Voice speaks to UNIC Canberra about being the daughter of migrant parents their influence and her hopes for a tolerant society. This interview is part of a series that UNIC is undertaking as part of the UN Global ‘Together, Respect, Safety and Dignity For All’ campaign.
For more information on the campaign: together.un.org/
The Secretary-General launched the TOGETHER campaign at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants on 19 September: All 193 Member States of the United Nations unanimously welcomed the TOGETHER campaign and committed to implementing it. The campaign aims to strengthen the social contract between host countries and communities, and refugees and migrants.
Listen to UNIC Canberra Together Campaign audio series
As part of the UN’s “Together, Respect Safety and Dignity for All” Campaign Belinda Mason Director of the film ‘Constance on the Edge” talks to UNIC Canberra’s Julia Dean about the strength and resilience of migrants – what they have to offer their new communities and how a chat and a hot ‘cup of tea’ may be all that is needed to create new friendships.
The film Constance on the Edge, filmed over 10 years, is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. Brave, lion-hearted, charismatic Constance, mother of six, confronts her painful past in war torn Sudan, and risks everything in Australia so her family can thrive.
GENEVA (7 December 2016) – United Nations human rights expert Mutuma Ruteere called on all Australians to strengthen efforts to end racism, xenophobia and other forms of racial discrimination in the country, especially against indigenous people, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, Muslims, and persons of African descent.
“The elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination will not happen unless it is led by the most senior political leadership and unless institutions such as the media play a constructive role,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on racism at the end of a fact-finding visit* to Australia.
(Canberra, 15 December) In celebration of International Migrants Day and as part of the United Nations’ Global Together, Respect Safety and Dignity for All – campaign, UNIC Canberra together with the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR presented a public screening of the new Australian documentary Constance On the Edge followed by a lively panel discussion.
One family. Two wars. Three countries. What does it take to forge a new life far from home? Filmed over 10 years, Constance on the Edge is an unflinchingly honest portrayal of one refugee family’s resettlement story in Australia. The powerful and emotive film closed to loud applause, with many in the audience visibly moved by the very personal stories that unfolded in the film.
(L-R) Ms.Natacha Yacoub, Deputy UNHCR Canberra, Mr.Joseph Appiah, Chief Of Mission IOM Australia
(31 October 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Australia from 1 to 18 November 2016 to assess the migration programmes, policies and laws developed by the Australian authorities in recent years.
“This is an opportunity for me to understand how Australia manages its overall migration policies, and their impact on the human rights of migrants,’’ Mr. Crépeau said announcing his first information-gathering mission to the country following the postponement of his visit last year.
During his 18-day visit to Australia, the independent expert will meet with a range of government officials responsible for border management, civil society, trade unions, the Australian National Human Rights Commission, international organisations, and migrants themselves, to discuss the complex management of Australia’s borders.
Mr. Crépeau will carry out his meetings in Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, and in on-shore detention centres and the off-shore detention centres in the neighbouring island Republic of Nauru.
At the end of the mission, the UN Special Rapporteur will share his preliminary conclusions at a press conference on 18 November 2016 at 10:30am, at the UN Information Centre, Level 1, 7 National Circuit Barton, Canberra. Access to the press conference is strictly limited to journalists.
The country mission report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2017.