International refugee meeting

New Zealand participated in UNESCO’s International Expert Meeting on Public Policies Supporting the Right to Education of Refugees, held in Barcelona on 13-14 December 2018. Abdirizak Abdi, Lead Adviser Refugee and Migrant Education Support at the Ministry of Education, attended. He reports back on the meeting.

The meeting brought together refugee education experts and practitioners from around the world. It focused around the below themes:

1. Country-specific and common challenges faced by education national systems in integrating refugee populations

2. Good practices and promising measures taken by countries to ensure the right to education for refugees

3. Policy levers and specific areas for targeted policy support.

 

As the New Zealand delegate, I contributed to theme number 2, sharing New Zealand’s successful support programmes for our refugee background students and their families. This was well received at the meeting.

The experts were also asked to contribute to the text of a policy statement on the right to education of refugees. Following input from the delegates, a final policy statement was produced.

All in all, the meeting was an excellent opportunity for New Zealand to contribute to an international meeting. I also learnt a lot about other countries’ practices and programmes, including refugee education policy perspectives and support programmes. These learnings will further enhance our support and policy framework to ensure our refugees are accessing quality education provisions in New Zealand schools and other educational settings.