24 May 2024

Cameroon born refugee fighting for equal treatment of asylum

From Nine To Noon, 10:05 am on 24 May 2024
image of Bernard Sama and his family, Phd graduation

Photo: supplied by University of Auckland

Trained as a lawyer, Bernard Sama spent time in a Cameroonian prison in 2005 after advocating for human rights in his home country.

The African nation is a Francophone and Anglophone country and Dr Sama is from the minority Anglophone region in the South.

After his imprisonment he managed to leave the country via Chad and successfully sought asylum in New Zealand. He is the chair of the Asylum Seekers Support Trust and a member of the Refugee Alliance. 

Earlier this month he graduated the University of Auckland with a doctorate in Social Work.

The focus of his PhD thesis was on  improving health and well-being in New Zealand refugee law and legal processes.