Urge the NZ government to accept an extra 1000 Rohingya refugees into NZ.
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New Zealand's total refugee population in 2014 was 1349, equivalent to about 0.3 refugees per 1000 people. That is five times fewer refugees per head of population than Australia and about 47 times fewer than Sweden. This places New Zealand 87th in the world for refugees per head of population. We might have the Rugby World Cup but do we have a conscience?
Bangladesh’s prime minister has urged Myanmar to take back an estimated 370,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled across the border in recent weeks in response to a violent crackdown by the Burmese military. New Zealand has the space and economic wealth to contribute to the relief effort.
The United Nations' human rights chief has described the security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as seemingly a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing". New Zealanders find this appalling.
High commissioner Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the "cruel military operation" in Rakhine state. New Zealanders refuse to live in a world where this violence is common place.
He said the situation couldn't be fully assessed because the Myanmar Government had refused access to human rights investigators. However, he said the UN had received "multiple reports and satellite imagery of security forces and local militia burning Rohingya villages, and consistent accounts of extrajudicial killings, including shooting fleeing civilians".
The Rohingya are a stateless mostly Muslim minority. Myanmar, which has a Buddhist majority, denies citizenship to more than 1 million Rohingya, despite the group living in Rakhine state for generations.
The UN says more than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to flood-hit Bangladesh since violence erupted late last month.
The Myanmar military claims it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and says it is not targeting civilians.
De-facto Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, has come under criticism recently for failing to speak up for the Rohingya.
National last year announced that New Zealand's annual refugee quota would rise from 750 to 1000 in 2018 - the first increase since the quota was established in 1976.
The Greens want the quota increased to 4000 within six years, with an additional 1000 taken by NGOs.
Labour wants the quota to hit 1500 over three years.
Given the worsening humanitarian crisis and the good state of the NZ economy we MUST ACT NOW!
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