Humanitarian Crisis

Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria

Xres 1a

As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. ICG The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement. What’s new? Having retaken the last rebel-held areas in Syria’s western interior, the Syrian regime is turning southward. Regime forces are massing in preparation for a reconquest of the “de… Why does it matter? The south ... Read More »

It’s 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe’s migrant bodycount

Meco 1a

The deaths do not just occur at sea – but in detention blocks, asylum units and even town centres. Here’s how the List is put together The boat capsized in rough seas in March close to Italian territorial waters. by Niamh McIntyre and Mark Rice-Oxley, graphics by Niko Kommenda and Pablo Gutiérrez The Guardian A search and rescue operation fished bodies from the sea, dead and alive. Many of the ship’s passengers remained unaccounted for. No one knew quite how many. It’s a grimly familiar tale ... Read More »

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

Ted 2b

A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on June 19. GENEVA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency. The current figure ... Read More »

Yemen: Understanding the conflict

Muc 3c

The military conflict now escalating in Yemen threatens the lives of more than 250,000 people in the port city Hodeidah while 8 million more people across Yemen already risk starvation. Kelly McFarland The Conversation The country is also facing the “worst cholera outbreak in modern history.” I am a scholar who has studied Yemen and worked as an Arabian Peninsula foreign affairs analyst for the State Department between 2011 and 2016. Here is what is happening in Yemen, now in ... Read More »

From the St Louis to the Aquarius: the history of refugee boats as archipelagos of misery

Xolo 6f

The Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean carrying 629 people, is now on its way to Spain, after being refused docking in Italy and Malta. Simone Gigliotti The Conversation The crisis has caused a diplomatic row between France and Italy and highlighted the stalemate within the EU on asylum policy. Sadly, there have been many historical examples of boats laden with refugees, that were refused docking. In the aftermath of World War II, the historian Eugene Kulischer wrote: “The ... Read More »

Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict

Mez 2b

In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery. Caroline Flintoft ICG From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation. That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number ... Read More »

The Long Haul Ahead for Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugee Crisis

Cer 5e

More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from brutal military operations in Myanmar are stuck in Bangladesh, with returns to Myanmar unlikely soon and Bangladeshi goodwill being tested. ICG In Myanmar, international partners must be allowed access to northern Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, donors must help both refugees and their local hosts. What’s new? Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s brutal military operations in Rakhine State to Bangladesh, joining tens of thousands who left earlier in 2017. The two ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

Muln 1a

The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

Rohingya demand justice as UN delegation visits Bangladesh camps

We Want Justice & Rohingya 1a AM Ahad The Associated Press

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees stage protest during UN Security Council delegation visit to Bangladesh camps. AlJazeera and News Agencies Rohingya refugees have demanded guarantees for a safe return to Myanmar during a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district by a United Nations Security Council delegation. Representatives from the 15 member countries of the UN organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the UN has called“ethnic cleansing” in neighbouring Myanmar in a… At Kutupalong, hundreds ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

Julian Burnside in Lesbos 1a photo Supplied LLLL

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

How the aid community responds in Syria will dictate its role in future crises

Pom 1a

The latest military strikes by the US, France and Britain in Syria highlight the Trump administration’s uncertainty on its role in the conflict. Denis Dragovic The Conversation With a near triumphant Syrian President Bashar al-Assad firmly under the control of Moscow and Tehran, the strikes against military bases suspected of facilitating the chemical weapons attacks will be nothing more than a footnote in the wider battle for influence in the… Trump must look towards the future and focus on influencing ... Read More »

Fears for asylum seekers as Nauru moves to cut ties to Australia’s high court

Pnee 1a

Legal experts say end to long-standing arrangement could leave asylum seekers held in detention with ‘virtually no rights’ Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Nauru has severed a long-standing arrangement to allow appeals to the high court of Australia, impacting on the rights of asylum seekers to challenge the refusal of refugee status. The high court is the final appellate court for Nauru, under an agreement between the two countries that has been in place since 1976. It can be terminated by either government ... Read More »

Cuts on 1 April will leave asylum seekers homeless, advocates warn

Aru 5e

Ninety-five groups send joint statement warning government risks creating destitution Australian Associated Press The Guardian Federal government cuts could mean homelessness and destitution for vulnerable asylum seekers in Australia on temporary visas, refugee advocates are warning. Ninety-five advocate groups spoke out on Monday to oppose cuts to a program that provides an allowance, casework support, housing assistance and counselling to potential refugees. “Many still have years before a… Cuts on 1… Read More »

Sweden’s Örebro City Council: “End the invasion of Afrin”

Afrin 1a Sweeden LLLL protest

Örebro city mayor and municipal commissioners condemned the Turkish state bombings and invasion and stated that they stand in solidarity with the people of Afrin and YPG/YPJ forces. ANF Örebro City Council administrators from various political parties came together to condemn Turkey’s bombings and invasion in Afrin, standing next to each other with signs that read “AFRIN”, and read a… Mayor of Örebro Kenneth Nilsson from the Social Democratic Workers’ Party and municipal commissioners Murad Artin from the Left Party, ... Read More »

After the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will come to the ASEAN summit with her reputation tarnished

Letr 1a

Two years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) into government in Myanmar amid a global outpouring of support and goodwill. Authors.. The Conversation When she arrives in Australia for this weekend’s ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the welcome will be cooler, tempered by her government’s limited progress on a range of political and economic issues. In particular, concerns will be raised over the Myanmar military’s appalling treatment of the Muslim Rohingya, and Suu Kyi’s refusal to ... Read More »

Bangladesh sees failure in Rohingya repatriation

Dak 6f

A senior Bangladesh cabinet minister has accused Myanmar of obstructing efforts to repatriate roughly 750,000 Rohingya refugees, saying it was unlikely the displaced Muslims would ever return to their homeland. DHAKA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Finance minister A.M.A Muhith said the repatriation deal signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh in November would likely fail despite his government’s official stance that the refugees must eventually go back. “I do not believe the Rohingya can be sent back,” Muhith, an outspoken minister from ... Read More »