Kids off Nauru, MFAT submissions, conflict in Syria and Safeguarding tools

Posted on 04 September 2018

+ How much do our members love us? 
+ #kidsoffnauru

119 children live on Nauru who are suffering from traumatic withdrawal syndrome.

15 children have either made repeated suicide attempts or are regularly self-harming.

A 12 year old is on a hunger strike.

Roughly 1,162 asylum seekers who arrived by boat are living in the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres.

Over 80% of the refugees have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, with depression, anxiety and other conditions widespread and treated “mostly through sedation.”

The #KidsOffNauru coalition wants the 119 children on the island resettled by November.

As this CID newsletter goes out, the Pacific Leaders Forum is taking place in Nauru.  CID has signed the joint open letter to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders and observers to end Australia's abusive offshore refugee processing policy, and urgently remove the children from the centres.

"The Australian and Nauruan Governments were trying to keep the issue quiet," Nicholls said, "with Australian media outlets including the ABC being refused visas, along with reports from the ground of refugees’ tents being pulled down and families being moved out of the RCP3 detention centre."

"The harsh futility of the system is part of its logic" explains the Brookings Institute; to deter future arrivals.

"And harsh it is. At least 12 people have died from causes including suicide, murder, and ineffective medical treatment. Others have fled persecution in their home countries only to suffer abuse or rape offshore. In 2016, leaked documents revealed more than 1,000 incidents of children being sexually abused or harassed by guards or other detainees. Several children are reported to have attempted self-harm or even suicide.

Meanwhile Europe is looking to emulate Australia and process refugees off-shore.

"EU leaders are well aware of the model. A group of them reportedly met in secret with senior Australian officials to discuss how they might adopt and adapt at least some aspects of that country’s approach to asylum seekers."

But they're missing an opportunity, argues the Brookings Institute:

"The best way for nations of the world to assist poor countries in their process of economic development is to receive their migrants and refugees, and through them, let the knowledge flow."

History shows us "Migrants are a driver of knowledge across borders," writes Danny Bahar. 

Join the call for the New Zealand Government to get the #KidsOffNauru!

+ MFAT submissions on updated aid policy

MFAT is inviting public submissions "to inform analysis for an updated policy for New Zealand’s International Cooperation for Sustainable Development." They are keen to hear from key stakeholders, such as your organisation and its members, on direction, priorities and focus.  The scope of the planned policy and consultation questions are here:

Policy Consultation
There are links within the website that provide background information to give a greater understanding of the context for the policy development.   The closing date for comments is 30 September and you can use the email in the link to give us feedback or to seek further information. 
is holding workshops during September with clusters of relevant engaged stakeholders to share their thinking to date.   CID will work with MFAT to organise some iNGO sessions.
+ In these troubled times grassroots leadership is key

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein served as the sixth United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018. In stepping down from the role of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights this week, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein reminds us that out amongst the cruelty and suffering there are (extra)ordinary grassroots leaders doing heroic acts. In the article "Grassroots leaders provide the best hope to a troubled world", challenges all leaders and advocates to strip back the 'tired jargon' and 'meaningless clichés' and aim for a new profundity.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein argues for a renewed and courageous approach to genuine partnership that allows grassroots leadership to be better incorporated into a influential decision-making. Perhaps through a reset in our engagement with local and grassroots leadership, he suggests that we might be able to bridge the gaps that appear to be occurring at the higher-levels of multilateral or global engagement.
+ US aid cuts hit Palestinians and Pakistan

Sweeping new US cuts in humanitarian aid to Palestinians are hitting hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people.

"One agency operating in the coastal enclave, Catholic Relief Services, said the withholding of this year’s US funding for its projects had seen the number of Palestinians it could support in Gaza – largely in food aid and employment assistance – drop from 150,000 to just 200 since January, forcing it to lay off most of its programme staff," reports Peter Beaumont and Oliver Holmes in the Uk Guardian.

Meanwhile, the United States has cut $300 million in aid to Pakistan, arguing that the government is not doing enough to combat terrorism and the Taliban.

Newly elected president Imran Khan has hit back, while also reaching out to the US.  In his victory speech, he said he wanted "mutually beneficial" relations with Washington.
+ Why China in the Pacific is helping us lift our game

Demonising China in the Pacific can be counter-productive, argues Jonathan Pryke and Alexandre Dayant of the Australian-based Lowy Institute. 

 It's "too dismissive of the Pacific islands’ ability to manage their own affairs."

"While China’s presence has arguably been disruptive, this overstates China’s place in the Pacific and dramatically understates Australia’s. It is time for some deep breaths and a more nuanced understanding of geopolitics in the Pacific. While foreign aid is only one aspect of diplomatic and geostrat­egic relations, for many nations it remains a critical component of inter­actions with Pacific island states."

The Lowy Institute Pacific aid map reveals that despite China’s emergence as a significant player, it accounted for only 8 per cent of total aid to the Pacific between 2011 and 2016. The largest donor, Australia, provided 45 per cent of all aid.

+ Prepare for CID's Safeguarding workshops 

CID's Safeguarding, Sexual Misconduct and Leadership workshops are September 24 in Auckland and September 25 in Wellington (see below for details).

Here are some of the sorts of guidance and resources we as a New Zealand Sector will look at developing:

In the UK, BOND (CID's equivalent) had created the following for it members:
Also, here are some templates for Safeguarding policies, some of which can we used and adapted for the New Zealand context.

ACFID (Australia) has just released an interim report, identifying key emerging themes to address: “Adopting victim/survivor-centered policies and processes; creating a strong reporting culture within organisations; and strong leadership to create that culture, are common international factors affecting the prevention of misconduct."

Also here is the CHS Alliance Handbook on Safeguarding, which BOND have adapted into a quick reference on measures to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse [PDF].
+ Poverty Alleviation & 'Problematic' Innovations

Innovators in crypto-currency and blockchain technology believe that they have the solution to Puerto Rico's poverty issues ...while simultaneously being attracted by Puerto Rico's lucrative tax incentives! 

The video 'The Perfect Storm: Building a Crypto Utopia in Puerto Rico' from the Guardian provides us with an opportunity to question exactly who is served by the roll out of innovations in development. As one of the comments on the video states; do Puerto Rican's really need development suggestions from people dressed like they walked out of the 'Burning Man Festival'? The video is an interesting and cringe-worthy watch...
+ Bloodbath in Syria?

Fears of a Russian-supported attack on Idlib, a province in north-west Syria that is home to nearly two million internally displaced people, is growing, reports Simon Tisdall from the UK Guardian.

Idlib is one of the last large populated areas outside the control of Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s dictator.

"António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, expressed concern last week that a 'humanitarian catastrophe' was looming, possibly even larger in scale than those elsewhere.  And he reminded Turkey and Iran, Russia’s partners in the Astana peace process, that they had jointly designated Idlib a 'de-escalation zone' – meaning it should be protected."
+ If you're an intern, don't watch this!

WARNING to all of us!
+ Member of the Moment: Christian World Service (CWS)

**Please get in touch if you would like to share something your organisation is proud of in the CID Member of the Moment**

Christian World Service (CWS) connects New Zealanders to a network of community-based changemakers around the world. Their partners address the causes of poverty and advocate for outcomes that challenge injustice and inequality.

CWS shares their concerns with New Zealanders and encourages them to join in advocating for climate justice, respect for human rights and self determination, and an end to violence and poverty. Rather than place staff overseas, CWS trusts local communities to know what is needed and how best to respond.

This is a key aspect of the ‘localisation’ model the development/humanitarian sector is working toward, and the following story from CWS is a true study in respecting and empowering community partners – especially in times of crisis. Until Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Developers Foundation - one of CWS’s partners based on Philippine’s Aklan coast - was all but self-sufficient. With Haiyan, they lost everything, as did the communities they worked with – 94-98% of homes were damaged or destroyed.

As the Developers Foundation drew on their local knowledge and networks to identify how best to help, CWS responded with a bulwark of practical assistance: first, roofing materials, followed by funding for large-scale tree and root crop planting drives, as well as establishing a local market which has lowered costs and improved incomes for the affected communities. Developers is now working closely alongside local governments on disaster preparedness, running regular training events to minimise the impact of major weather events. The latest effort here is an intensive mangrove planting drive: with their tight and extensive root systems, mangroves create a buffer against the tidal surges and strong winds that are increasingly common. More mangroves will increase habitat for declining fish populations.

CWS is encouraging New Zealanders to buy mangroves as an option to offset the carbon effect of their travel and help people on the frontline of climate change. But damage from storms like Haiyan is not only physical, environmental – it is also social and economic. Developers are exploring ways to improve family incomes (already low before Haiyan), and CWS is right there with them, helping to explore potential new income streams. Current market research is pointing to small-scale banana chip production – keep an eye out for developments in this front in the near future!

CWS began in 1945 when the National Council of Churches launched an appeal to assist war-torn Greece. CWS soon moved to a development focus and was an early promoter of development education and advocacy work. CWS is part of ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together), a global network mobilising around $1.5 billion annually for development, humanitarian aid and advocacy. Find out more on their website.
+ CID's growing

CID welcomes a new Associate member to our whānau:

GOOD Travel

GOOD Travel is a social enterprise with a strong focus on their mission to transform the tourism industry into a force for GOOD.

"All our decisions and actions are guided by this mission and our values of openness, passion, learning, transparency and integrity.  We work towards our mission by empowering travellers to have a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the places they visit. We achieve this through our tailor-made group trips as well as our social media and advocacy work."

+ 2019 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
Applications for the 2019 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust - NZ Fellowships are open! The Winston Churchill Fellowships were established in 1965 to help kiwis travel overseas to learn from others and study topics that will advance their occupation, trade, industry, profession or community and benefit New Zealand.

To begin your application process, or for more information, click here


Pacific Islands Aid