Asylum Seekers

Nauru hunger strike: 12-year-old boy at imminent risk of dying

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Island staff report a looming children’s health crisis ahead of Pacific Islands Forum Ben Doherty The Guardian A 12-year-old refugee boy on hunger strike on Nauru for more than a fortnight is at imminent risk of dying, medical staff on the island say, but efforts to move him to hospital care in Australia have foundered. He is one of several critical child cases on the island – including a 14-year-old boy with muscle wastage so severe he may never walk normally again, ... Read More »

Truth to power: my time translating Behrouz Boochani’s masterpiece

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The GM picks me up from the airport. I call him the GM because after the PNG Supreme Court ruled the Manus Island immigration detention centre illegal, this man was able to leave the prison and… Omid Tofighian The Conversation Behrouz Boochani has arranged for me to stay at that lodge. The GM’s Manusian colleague and another refugee accompany him. Driving into town we see police blocking part of the road beside a school; some locals are dispersing, others are ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: a year since it shocked the world, what’s changed?

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This August marks a full year since one of the 21st century’s worst refugee crises gripped the world’s attention. Abdullah Yusuf The Conversation In 2017, an unprecedented number of Rohingya Muslim refugees began fleeing Myanmar’s Rakhine state for neighbouring Bangladesh, after Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in response to attacks on border posts by Rohingya rebels. This crisis is, as rightly pointed out by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “a humanitarian and human rights nightmare”; the United Nations described the ... Read More »

Refugees are integrating just fine in regional Australia

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As the Australian population surpassed the 25 million mark last week, another immigration debate emerged over the burden newcomers are placing on Melbourne and Sydney in terms of congestion and… Authors: The Conversation With government data showing 87% of skilled migrants settled in either of the two cities in the past year, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Minister Alan Tudge made an urgent appeal to… New research being released publicly on Tuesday suggests Tudge is spot-on in his argument that regional Australia ... Read More »

‘Stand up if you’re an asylum seeker’: the night corporate Australia made me cry

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A networking night, a LinkedIn profile, a new suit: these white collar acts that seem so banal may change the life of an asylum seeker Brigid Delaney The Guardian In the foyer of the building off Martin Place there is a corporate networking event in full swing. People in suits are talking to other people in suits (while juggling a beer and a rice paper roll) about jobs and internships and degrees and experience: all the stuff that people at ... Read More »

If Other Countries Knew How Australia Stops The Boats It Could Damage Foreign Relations, Peter Dutton Told

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The minister’s 245-page incoming brief has been obtained by BuzzFeed News. Josh Taylor Revealing Australia’s role in turning back boats and other border enforcement operations could affect Australia’s relationship with other countries, home affairs minister Peter Dutton was told by his department. Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) is a military operation initiated under the Abbott government in 2013 to stop the flow of boats bringing asylum seekers to Australia. The operation works in secrecy and very little information about what is ... Read More »

Blood, soil and paper: Thailand’s mission to reduce statelessness

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Last month’s epic rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand gripped the world. Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul The Conversation When it emerged that some of the boys are stateless, the news headlines changed in subtle ways from “Thai boys in the cave” to “boys in Thai cave”. Amid the widespread joy over the successful operation, the rescue has drawn attention to the broader issue of statelessness in Thailand. My research into the lives of stateless youth ... Read More »

Australia and other countries must prioritise humanity in dealing with displaced people and migration

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After six rounds of consultations, United Nations member states have produced the final draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Authors: The Conversation It is preceded by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which the UN General Assembly adopted in 2016. This was an intergovernmental declaration to initiate development of two separate global compacts: one on refugees and another on migrants. This latest global compact document focuses on the latter issue. It lays ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island and the book written one text at a time

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The Kurdish Iranian writer’s book was sent largely via messaging services such as Whatsapp over almost five years Helen Davidson The Guardian A Kurdish Iranian writer sought refuge in Australia but was instead sent to the country’s notorious offshore detention centre. For the next five years he wrote a book, one text message at a time. Behrouz Boochani became a well known and award-winning voice from Papua New Guinea’s remote Manus Island, acting as a source for journalists in Australia ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are being deported from Australia despite fears of torture

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Earlier last month, Thileepan Gnaneswaran was separated from his wife and 11-month-old baby and deported from Australia back to Sri Lanka, the country from which he had fled six years ago. Kirsty Anantharajah The Conversation On his arrival in Colombo, he was taken into custody and questioned by Sri Lankan police. He’s since been released, but the ordeal was no doubt a traumatic experience, given his claims of being interrogated and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces during the country’s ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

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Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »

Asylum seeker should be alive: Qld coroner

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Australia must do more to care for asylum seekers held offshore after an Iranian man died in entirely preventable circumstances, Queensland’s state coroner says. Christine Flatley Yahoo7 AAP Terry Ryan found 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he’d received proper medical care after developing a leg inflection at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island. But he died in a Brisbane hospital in September 2014, two weeks after seeking help at the centre’s medical clinic, which didn’t even have ... Read More »

Go ahead, white Australia, eat your kebabs while you remind us of your ‘values’

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When I think about white fragility and its moral pretensions I marvel at the great hoax of it all Randa Abdel-Fattah The Guardian I know who I am. Most racialised people do. History matters to us. We know that the answers to who we are as a nation lie in a story that did not start with the last election or 9/11 or Tampa or deaths in custody or the stolen generations. We know that if we were to approach the ... Read More »

A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center

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Separated from her mother by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the child was forced to sign a statement confirming that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her abuser. Ari Honarvar The Nation According to immigrant-rights advocates, a 6-year-old girl separated from her mother under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy was sexually abused while at an… The child was then made to sign a form acknowledging that she was told to maintain her distance from her alleged abuser, ... Read More »

Swedish student prevents deportation of Afghan asylum seeker by refusing to sit down on flight

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Live stream of Elin Ersson’s dramatic protest shows how she stands her ground against flight crew and fellow passengers, before her efforts are finally applauded in emotional scenes Adam Withnall Independent A student activist in Sweden single-handedly prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan, by refusing to sit down on the plane that was due to take him out of the country. Elin Ersson started live-streaming her dramatic protest after flight attendants demanded she sit down for departure and tried to take away ... Read More »