Asylum Seekers

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

‘I feel like an empty shell’: the patients left behind when MSF had to quit Nauru

MSF says five years of ‘indefinite limbo’ endured by refugees and asylum seekers has led to a radical deterioration in mental health Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian On Thursday Médecins Sans Frontières took a rare step in front of the microphone and publicly criticised the Australian government, demanding an end to its offshore processing policy. Six days earlier its team of mental health workers had been forced by the Nauru government to abruptly stop work and leave the ... Read More »

Inside torture and trauma counselling sessions on Christmas Island

For three years from 2011, social worker Poh Lin Lee worked as a trauma counsellor for the Christmas Island Torture and Trauma Service. RN – By Teresa Tan ABC She offered therapy and support to detained asylum seekers referred from the nearby detention centre, which closed this month. At her lowest, most conflicted moments she wondered who she was providing the care for. “It might be enough for someone to get through the next week or the next day, but for ... Read More »

UN: ‘health crisis’ demands closure of Australia’s offshore detention centres

Government bears responsibility because it designed and paid for the systems in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, says UNHCR Naaman Zhou The Guardian The United Nations has called on Australia to immediately evacuate its offshore detention centres to prevent an unfolding health crisis. Doctors from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were ejected from Nauru on Wednesday and the UN high commissioner for refugees has warned that many asylum seekers who have attempted self-harm or have critical health issues now have no access ... Read More »

As doctors working on Nauru, we thought we were helping. Now I know we were not

The ongoing human rights travesty that is indefinite mandatory offshore detention is antithetical to medical ethics Nick Martin The Guardian When I worked on Nauru as a medical officer for refugees and asylum seekers, I never saw myself as part of the problem. But since I returned to Australia I have increasingly come to question my role in a system that is antithetical to medical ethics. The ongoing human rights travesty that is indefinite mandatory detention and the treatment of asylum seekers there never ... Read More »

Farewell to Fariborz: Australian burial for refugee who killed himself on Nauru

Family and friends of Fariborz Karami, 26, gathered at Mount Gravatt cemetery in Brisbane to say goodbye Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian Last Friday relatives of Fariborz Karami finally said goodbye to the 26-year-old, an athletic and intelligent dentistry student who had married just a short time before taking his life inside a tent on Nauru. It had been more than three months since he died, and many years since doctors first raised concerns about his mental health ... Read More »

Migration: new map of Europe reveals real frontiers for refugees

Since the EU declared a “refugee crisis” in 2015 that was followed by an unprecedented number of deaths in the Mediterranean, maps explaining the routes of migrants to and within Europe have been used widely in newspapers and social media. Martina Tazzioli The Conversation Some of these maps came out of refugee projects, while others are produced by global organisations, NGOs and agencies such as Frontex, the European Border and Coastguard Agency, and the International Organisation for… The Balkan route, ... Read More »

‘We need to make sure it’s realistic’: Liberty Victoria president weighs in on immigration plan

Liberty Victoria president Jessie Taylor says the devil is in the detail for the Federal Government’s plan to ease mounting population pressure in Melbourne and Sydney. Neil Mitchel 3AW New visa conditions would require migrants to settle outside the major cities for up to five years. Ms Taylor, who also works as a lawyer, said it depended on whether there were job opportunities to sustain growth in regional centres. Neil Mitchell glad to see a population plan on the political ... Read More »

The Karen road to Nhill

Famous for 1997 movie The Road to Nhill, the town of that name is now home to 200 Karen refugees from Myanmar. Far from dividing locals, the huge influx of newcomers – many of whom arrived traumatised, unfamiliar with western society – has brought new life to the community. Is this a model for the rest of Australia? Words by Margaret Simons Pictures by Damien Pleming SBS It’s too quiet in Kay’s Kreations flower and gift shop. There aren’t any fresh ... Read More »

Nauru orders MSF to stop mental health work on island

Nauru’s government has ordered Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to stop work there immediately, despite a physical and mental health crisis in the country. Luke Henriques-Gomes The Guardian The medical NGO has been providing psychological and psychiatric services to residents, asylum seekers and refugees on the island since late 2017. MSF staff wrote to its clients on Saturday to tell them it could no longer offer them treatment because of an order from Nauru’s health minister, who said the its services were “no ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani wins Anna Politkovskaya award for Manus Island writing

Iranian Kurdish refugee recognised for documenting Australia’s offshore detention Naaman Zhou The Guardian Iranian Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani has won the Anna Politkovskaya investigative journalism award for his work documenting Australia’s offshore immigration detention program. The award, named after the Russian journalist who was killed in Moscow in 2006, is bestowed by the Italian magazine Internazionale each year during the Internazionale festival to recognise excellence in investigative reporting. Boochani, a… Behrouz Boochani wins… Read More »

What’s Going on in Brussels?

Migration is dividing the European Union Preston Huennekens Center for Immigration Studies The European Union began in 1952 as the European Coal and Steel Community. The original six countries — Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, and… Negotiations continue with outsiders that could see the group’s total membership rise to over 30 by 2020. Some commentators point to the E.U. as a superpower. Well-intentioned visionaries believed that increased European integration and supranational cooperation would bring prosperity, peace, and progress to ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »

Refugees from Venezuela are fleeing to Latin American cities, not refugee camps

More than 2.3 million Venezuelans – roughly 7 percent of the entire population – have fled the country’s political and economic crisis since 2014, the largest human displacement in Latin America’s history. Robert Muggah The Conversation Earlier this year as many as 5,000 Venezuelans crossed the border every day, most of them seeking safety in poor cities and towns in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Impromptu refugee camps are springing up in towns across South America, fueling anxieties that ... Read More »

Court orders Peter Dutton to transfer ill family of three from Nauru

Judge stipulates no treatment by Border Force contractor or health provider IHMS Saba Vasefi and Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal court has once again enforced the medical evacuation of dangerously ill asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru, ordering the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, to transfer a family of three over the weekend. The order, delivered by Justice Tom Thawley on Friday, also stipulated that they not be treated by anyone contracted by Australian Border Force or detention health provider ... Read More »

If only we cared about refugees as much as strawberries!

If only the asylum seekers and their children on Nauru and Manus were strawberries. Perhaps they would have more of a chance of grabbing the attention of the Prime Minister. Perhaps they wouldn’t try to kill themselves, as a… Warwick McFadyen The Age If they were able to miraculously turn into strawberries, then it is more than likely they might see and hear this: Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaping to their aid. A press conference to the nation. A declaration, ... Read More »