Asylum Seekers

Victoria will take the 267 asylum seekers, Daniel Andrews tells Malcolm Turnbull

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Andrews wrote to the prime minister urging him to take action and keep a group of Australian-born asylum seeker children and their families in Australia The Guardian – Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro The 267 asylum seekers whose removal to Nauru was cleared by a controversial high court ruling are welcome to stay in Victoria, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said. Andrews wrote to the Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday offering that the group – which includes 37 babies born in Australia to asylum ... Read More »

High Court ruling: Silence falls as Manus Island detainees’ hopes for justice are dashed

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A detainee in the offshore “prison” tells the inside story of frustration, fear and hopelessness. * The Age Video – ””” HIGH COURT UPHOLDS OFFSHORE DETENTION – Human rights advocate slams High Court ruling that leaves vulnerable asylum seekers in limbo, saying “legality is one thing. The morality is another.” ””” It’s Wednesday afternoon here in the Delta Prison, the compound where I am imprisoned in Australia’s detention camp on Manus Island. Dozens of refugees with ill-fitting clothes and plastic thongs are ... Read More »

Canberra Uniting Church will accept appeals for sanctuary from refugees

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Canberra’s Uniting Church congregations would welcome refugees seeking sanctuary from deportation to Manus Island or Nauru as a result of Wednesday’s High Court ruling “with open doors, open hearts, and open tables”, church leaders said on Thursday. The Canberra Times – David Ellery, Reporter for The Canberra Times “It’s called civil disobedience and churches have been doing it for a long time,” the Reverend Anne Ryan of the Tuggeranong Uniting Church at Erindale said. While Canberra’s Catholic, Anglican and Presbyterian communities ... Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull Has Ducked The Greatest Moral Challenge Of His Political Life

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On 3 February 2016 the High Court of Australia dismissed an application which challenged the constitutional underpinnings of Australia’s offshore detention regime. The Huffington Post, Julian Burnside, Barrister, human rights activist, supporter of the arts * Offshore detention is a practice introduced by the Howard government in 2001 in response to the Tampa episode. The Norwegian cargo ship MV Tampa had rescued 438 people (mostly Afghan Hazaras) after their boat sank. It is startling to remember that, in the year to August ... Read More »

Church’s lead on asylum seekers sanctuary a game changer

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Editorial The Federal Government’s Herodian stance on asylum seekers affected by a High Court decision which has cleared the way to banish almost 270 people, including 37 babies, to off-shore detention needs a serious rethink thanks to the Christian churches. The Canberra Times  By offering sanctuary the churches have set the Government on course for an international public relations disaster in the event it holds firm to the hard line taken to date. Will a government led by Malcolm Turnbull ... Read More »

Nauru: How long can we keep lying to ourselves?

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The history of asylum seeker policy in Australia will be remembered as a story of how successive governments legislated their lies to justify a world of make-believe borders and imaginary compliance. The Sydney Morning Herald – Waleed Aly, Columnist Video – CHURCH WILL LOCK DOORS TO PROTECT FAMILIES – ””” The Anglican Dean of Brisbane feels “so desperate” about the plight of asylum seekers facing deportation he is offering to protect them in the church and resist by closing the building.””” Wonderful idea, sovereignty. ... Read More »

Mental health of children in Darwin’s immigration detention centre ‘worst paediatrician has ever seen’

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A Darwin paediatrician says children held in the city’s immigration detention centre have the worst mental health problems he has ever seen. ABC – By Katherine Gregory More than 50 of the 70 children who are at risk of being forcibly sent to Nauru are being held in Darwin’s Wickham Point Detention Centre. Photo: A drawing by a seven-year-old girl depicts life behind bars in detention. (ABC News: Katherine Gregory) Doctor Josh Francis said many of the children were terrified ... Read More »

Migrant crisis: More than 10,000 children ‘missing’

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More than 10,000 migrant children may have disappeared after arriving in Europe over the past two years, the EU’s police intelligence unit says. BBC Europol said thousands of vulnerable minors had vanished after registering with state authorities. It warned of children and young people being forced into sexual exploitation and slavery by criminal gangs. Save the Children says some 26,000 child migrants arrived in Europe last year without any family. It is the first time Europol has given a Europe-wide ... Read More »

Asylum seekers – is there a better way?

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Call it the exception that proves the rule. When it comes to the big policy challenges facing the nation, from tax reform to combating terrorism, Malcolm Turnbull’s mantra is that everything, absolutely everything, is on the table. The Canberra Times – Michael Gordon But when the task is to find solutions for those in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru, or to afford asylum seekers in mainland detention centres or the Australian community on bridging visas a measure of certainty, there ... Read More »

Belgian Minister accused of saying “let them drown”

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The Belgian Minister would prefer Greece to become Europe’s “waiting room” The Greek Deputy Immigration Minister, Ioannis Mouzalas, told BBC’s Newsnight that the Belgian interior minister told him on Monday’s Council in Amsterdam that Greece should “push” migrants “back in the sea.” New Europe – By NEOnline | IR Furthermore, Mr. Mouzalas suggests that Theo Francken told him to “drive them back into the sea; go against the law; I’m sorry, but I do not care if they drown.” Francken also ... Read More »

British government makes U-turn over resettlement of Syrian children

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Home Office announces it will take in vulnerable minors already in Europe following calls from politicians and charities The Guardian – Patrick Wintour, Diplomatic editor Britain will take in unaccompanied Syrian refugee children who are already in Europe, the government is to announce, and will set aside a new £10m fund to support vulnerable migrant children. It is the first time the UK has agreed to take Syrian refugees from within Europe and follows calls from charities and politicians for the ... Read More »

How Not to Welcome Refugees

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With its new immigration law, Denmark is once again sending a blunt message to migrants. The Atlantic – Edward Delman On Tuesday, the Danish parliament overwhelmingly passed a bill seemingly designed to solidify Denmark’s reputation as Western Europe’s least attractive country for refugees—a hard-earned title at a time when many of its neighbors are tightening border controls as people continue to flee conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere. The law empowers Danish authorities to seize any assets ... Read More »

Despite Turkish deal, over 40,000 have reached Greece this year

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The European Union edged closer on Monday to accepting that its Schengen open-borders area may be suspended for up to two years if it fails in the next few weeks to curb the influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa. Today’s Zaman – REUTERS | AMSTERDAM Shorter-term dispensations for border controls end in May. EU migration ministers meeting in Amsterdam decided they may be extended for two years — an unprecedented extension — because the migrant crisis probably ... Read More »

Leading Australian doctor challenges Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten over ‘torture-like conditions’ at detention centres

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Exclusive by medical reporter Sophie Scott and Natasha Robinson ABC One of Australia’s leading doctors has challenged the Prime Minister to prosecute him for speaking out about what he calls “torture-like conditions” in offshore detention centres. Professor David Isaacs has been an outspoken critic of the centres, but under the Border Force Act, contractors working in immigration detention — including doctors and aid workers — face two years’ imprisonment for revealing details of what happens in detention centres. The paediatrician ... Read More »

Greek islanders to be nominated for Nobel peace prize

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International group of academics to propose those on frontline of refugee crisis be commended for their ‘empathy and self-sacrifice’ The Observer Daniel Boffey Policy editor Greek islanders who have been on the frontline of the refugee crisis are to be nominated for the Nobel peace prize with the support of their national government. Of the 900,000 refugees who entered Europe last year most were received –scared, soaked and travelling in rickety boats – by those who live on the Greek ... Read More »

Cherish Australia’s freedom from fear, says refugee lawyer Deng Thiak Adut

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In Australia Day address for NSW, former child soldier says: ‘How lucky I became. How lucky is a person who receives an education in a free land’ The Guardian – Australian Associated Press The refugee lawyer and former child soldier Deng Thiak Adut says Australians should cherish the freedom from fear that comes with living in their country. Adut arrived in Australia in 1998 from Sudan, along with his brother, and went on to study law and work as a refugee ... Read More »