Report identifies barriers for migrant victims of family violence in immigration policies

December 04, 2020 at 2:19 PM

From the NZFVC

In October 2020, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) published a report about the effectiveness of Immigration New Zealand's (INZ) approach for preventing and responding to family violence. The project focused on migrants who have lived in New Zealand for five years or less.

The Victims of Family Violence Project took place in 2019 and involved four phases: 

  • brief review of literature and data from INZ;
  • comparison of New Zealand immigration legislation and policy with Australia, Canada, UK and US;
  • interviews with four non-government organisations (NGOs);
  • internal INZ discussions and actions. 

The Recent Migrant Victims of Family Violence Project 2019: Final Report (2020) summarises the findings and recommendations from the project. 

The report identifies a number of "policy issues and INZ operational/processing issues" that present barriers to migrant victims obtaining family violence visas. It describes how current policies and practices can contribute to preventing migrant women from seeking or receiving help. This can force women to choose between staying in abusive relationships or returning to their home country, or in some cases force women to return to their home country, leaving their children behind with the abusive ex/partner.

The report outlines some "remediating actions" underway however it also states that a policy review is not currently planned:

"Due to competing Government priorities, policy work to investigate these issues further and any consequent remediating actions cannot be undertaken at this time. However, within the wider context of Government action to eliminate family violence additional immigration operational and policy changes may be considered in the future as part of a longer-term work programme."

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Category: Reports