14 Jun 2011

Deportees marginalised when they return to Samoa and Tonga

1:53 pm on 14 June 2011

A new study into the fate of Samoans and Tongans deported from countries like New Zealand and Australia shows many carry a stigma when they return to their countries of birth.

Fifty-six people participated in the United Nations research, which describes the experience of those who have been deported for criminal offences.

UNESCO Co-ordinator, Natalia Pereira, says the average length of time they had spend outside of their birth country was over 20 years.

She says many people got a hard time when they were forced back to Samoa or Tonga.

"So people come back and they realise that quite quickly people know why they've been sent back and so quite quickly get discriminated or marginalised by the communities or looked down upon which often prevents them from getting employment and also accessing certain services."

Natalia Pereira says a lot of people don't realise their permanent residence status allows countries to deport them for criminal offences.