Asylum Seekers

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker, separating him from baby daughter

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Thileepan faces permanent separation from his wife and child, who have been granted safe haven visas Ben Doherty The Guardian A 30-year-old Tamil asylum seeker faces permanent separation from his wife and 10-month-old Australian-born daughter, after being deported more than six years after arriving in Australia. Thileepan (like many Tamils he only uses one name) had been in Australia since arriving by boat in June 2012. He lived in the community for most of his time in Australia, marrying in ... Read More »

Adul Sam-on: the stateless boy who survived the Thai cave – and helped with the rescue

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The dramatic rescue of the 12 boys trapped in Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand captured the world’s attention. Derina Johnson The Conversation But one young person in particular stood out: 14-year-old Adul Sam-on, who, as the only English speaker in the group (he also speaks Chinese, Burmese and Thai), greeted the British divers who found them, and… Adul is stateless. According to reports, he was born in Wa state, an unrecognised state within Myanmar which is unable to issue ... Read More »

Italian president intervenes in migrant stand-off, angering Salvini

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President Sergio Mattarella has made a rare intervention in Italian politics to end a dispute within the ruling coalition over a migrant boat, angering right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. ROME – Reuters Hurriyet Mattarella contacted Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte late on July 12 to express his concern about the plight of 67 migrants rescued at sea and brought to a Sicilian port. Salvini had refused to allow them to disembark. The ship had been brought to the port of Trapani with the ... Read More »

Each time Australia delays bringing a sick child from Nauru, the stakes get higher

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The government is playing a dangerous game with the lives of refugee children Ben Doherty The Guardian Last week, three children held in Australia’s offshore immigration regime on the island of Nauru were moved to Australia following court order or threat of legal action. In six months, eight cases have been brought before the Australian courts of children suffering life-threatening psychological or physical illness that cannot be properly treated on Nauru. Every one of those cases has been won. Children have been ... Read More »

Refugee crises need long-term solutions

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Some Western leaders are tapping into nationalistic instincts of people to dehumanise asylum-seekers By Linda S. Heard, Special to Gulf News It seems to me that some opportunistic Western politicians are exploiting the refugee crises to feather their own nests by appealing to voters fearful of being culturally swamped and threatened economically. They tap in to people’s nationalistic instincts engendering contempt for the other, rendering ‘compassion’ to the status of a dirty word. More than 1,000 migrants crossing the Mediterranean ... Read More »

New migrant processing centres in EU must avoid inhumanity of ‘hotspots’ in Greece and Italy

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A new plan to set up “controlled centres” to hold migrants once they arrive in EU territory risks repeating many mistakes of the past, bypassing due process and breaching fundamental human rights and… Samantha Velluti The Conversation At the EU’s June summit in Brussels, leaders agreed to create centres within EU member states to speed up the processing of asylum requests and assist those countries on the rim of the Mediterranean sea – such as Italy, Malta and… No country ... Read More »

‘We want peace’: A Rohingya family’s 40 years of suffering

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Rohingya refugees tell of decades of persecution and horrors suffered at the hands of Myanmar security forces. Mohammed Jamjoom AlJazeera Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh – Gul Zahar is the head of four generations of family and and the bearer of 40 years of suffering. A Rohingya refugee in her 90s, she has fled persecution in Myanmar on three separate occasions in her life: first in 1978, then in 1991 and, finally, in 2017. Like many other Rohingya members of her generation, Gul isn’t exactly sure how old ... Read More »

‘Are they going to shoot me?’: Statue of Liberty ​climber on her anti-Trump protest

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Interview Exclusive: Patricia Okoumou says her four-hour standoff with police was fired by outrage at caging of migrant children Joanna Walters in New York The Guardian The grainy aerial images of a woman clinging to the skirts of the Statue of Liberty were beaming live around the world for hours on Independence Day, as police tried to talk her down from her protest against Trump immigration policies. But what was going through the woman’s mind as she huddled against the green metal ... Read More »

Kon Karapanagiotidis: A merchant of hope for asylum seekers

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Seventeen years after setting up the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, this Melburnian still faces daily hurdles in his fight for those seeking protection. Why does he persist? Gabriella Coslovich The Sydney Morning Herald It’s 9.48am and Kon Karapanagiotidis’ day is not getting off to a great start. “Can you hear me?” he asks, staring at his donated computer in his modest, lilac-walled office. Over in one corner, a large wooden spool acts as a table. Around it, milk crates topped ... Read More »

What the Nazis driving people from homes taught philosopher Hannah Arendt about the rights of refugees

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Facing a political revolt over immigration policies from the Christian Social Union partner in her coalition government, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to a compromise, which would create “transit zones” or refugee camps along Germany’s southern border. Kathleen B. Jones The Conversation Under the agreement, migrants would be housed in designated transit areas, until German authorities determined their eligibility. If found to have registered in another EU country, immigrants would be turned back, assuming that country would accept them. Merkel ... Read More »

Refugee girl at risk of suicide to be moved from Nauru to Australia after court action

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Exclusive: earlier calls to move 14-year-old were refused but decision reversed as court action began Ben Doherty The Guardian A 14-year-old refugee girl who had attempted suicide on Nauru by trying to set herself on fire will be moved to Australia within days – the eighth child moved from the island following a court order or the… The Australian Border Force had rejected recommendations from doctors on the island to immediately move the girl to an Australian hospital for acute psychiatric treatment ... Read More »

EU lawmakers issue call to take in Venezuelan migrants

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A new resolution in the European Parliament is calling on EU countries to give refuge to migrants from Venezuela. Mirra Banchon DW The UN’s migration agency estimates that 200,000 Venezuelans are already living in Spain. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Thursday urging member states to provide “immediate protection-oriented responses” to Venezuelan migrants in the EU, including humanitarian visas, special stay arrangements and… Lawmakers also demanded that the Venezuelan government allow the entry of humanitarian aid to the… EU lawmakers issue… Read More »

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh to deploy thousands of police to refugee camps to improve safety

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Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from… Reuters ABC Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a ... Read More »

Monash student, Hazara refugee and human rights advocate wins prestigious Scholarship to Oxford University

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Sitarah Mohammadi was eight years old when she first learnt to read and write. Born in Afghanistan, she was told that girls and women were second-class, they had no rights and that they didn’t need an education. Monash University It was only when she escaped to Australia that she was given the chance to go to school, and to realise just how lucky she was. Growing up as a Hazara refugee in Australia has taught this Monash international relations and ... Read More »

A new bombing in Afghanistan and the tragedy of refugees

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One of the participants in a research project I am working on was recently killed in the Afghan city of Jalalabad in a suicide bombing attack targeting Sikhs and Hindus. Liza Schuster The Conversation The young women I work with who had interviewed him and his family are shattered, and his distraught wife in agony. Like so many others over the past few years, he was killed by the so-called Islamic State (IS). And like other victims of IS in ... Read More »

Merkel, to Survive, Agrees to Border Camps for Migrants

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel, who staked her legacy on welcoming hundreds of thousands of migrants into Germany, agreed on Monday to build border camps for asylum seekers and to tighten the border with Austria in a political deal to save her… Katrin Bennhold and Melissa Eddy The New York Times It was a spectacular turnabout for a leader who has been seen as the standard-bearer of the liberal European order but who has come under intense pressure at home ... Read More »