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Fiji, No Longer Isolated To Refugee Issues, Says Raj

Fiji, No Longer Isolated To Refugee Issues, Says Raj
December 01
11:38 2016

Fiji is no longer isolated to the issues of refugees and asylum seekers, say Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission director, Ashwin Raj.

Mr Raj said no one could pretend that this was not happening.

Noting the importance of having dialogues on the refugee crisis, he said Pacific was becoming an important area which such elaborations needed to take place.

“We are no longer isolated from these things because of the transnational nature of this issue,” Mr Raj said during an interview at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Pacific Regional Meeting on Protection: Strengthening Co-operation and Developing National Capacity at Novotel Hotel in Nadi yesterday.

“The question of refugees is a fundamental human rights issue and at this point it underscores the importance of thinking about human dignity and human rights that cuts across borders that traverses ocean.”

He said nations needed to have a transnational dialogue and at the same time balance it out with the imperative of sovereignty about undertaking internationally in terms of our human rights commitment through our ratification of various conventions.

But also thinking about whether our legislations on the ground are in line with the convention, he added.

Fiji has recently had some asylum seekers and with the human rights and anti-discrimination provisions, Mr Raj said they have been dealing with them.

This also comes with other issues such as human trafficking.

“We also deal with a number of a number of foreign nationals who have been remanded here and so details, facilities and all of that so there are all this multiple dilations and we now need to start thinking about all of that stuff,” Mr Raj stated.

“Ultimately we also need to understand that we need an enlightening citizen rate, we need to appreciate why people move,” he added.

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"Everything we did was for our country we knew that we have to prove ourselves to be the best."
Osea Tagicakibaul
Retired Staff Sergeant
December 2016
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