Asylum Seekers

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 »

Germany’s Angela Merkel prevents the breakup of her government with immigration deal

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel avoided the breakup of her government on Monday, emerging from an immigration fight with her coalition intact but fragile. James McAuley and Luisa Beck The Washington Post A clash that lasted weeks ended in an uneasy truce when Merkel and her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), reached a compromise on immigration policy with partner Christian Social Union (CSU). Interior Minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer backed off his threat to resign and potentially bring down ... Read More »

12-year-old Gives Powerful And Moving Speech At “Families Belong Together” Rally In DC

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12-year-old Leah from Florida is the daughter of undocumented immigrant parents. This is a speech she gave at a “Families Belong Together” rally in Washington, DC in protest of the current administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. WYSK In her powerful speech, Leah fights through her tears to talk about the “constant fear” she lives in of her mom being taken away from her. “It’s scary. I can’t sleep, I can’t study, I am stressed. I’m afraid that they will take ... Read More »

Is it time for Australian states to step up on asylum seeker support?

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The cruelty of the federal government’s immigration services is well-established, but what’s happening in the states and territories? This is the focus of a new report out today. Chris Woods Crikey Last week, the Department of Home Affairs began rolling out staggered cuts to support services for around 1500 people seeking asylum. The government’s decision to kick people off Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) — which amounts to $35 per day coupled with some healthcare services — follows years of ... Read More »

ACT excluding asylum seekers from accessing essential services: report

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A new report finds laws and policies in the ACT are excluding asylum seekers and refugees from accessing essential services. Han Nguyen The Canberra Times The report, State of Refuge, to be published Monday by the Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project, analysed how state and territory governments were faring in attempts to fill gaps left by the Commonwealth. The report looks into three service areas: education, health, and housing. One of the report’s authors, Julia Wallace, said the report found the ACT was ... Read More »

Before he was murdered, here is what a disabled asylum seeker had to say about Britain’s ‘hostile environment’

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Kamil Ahmad, a disabled man, fled his home in Iraqi Kurdistan after being tortured and imprisoned. Rebecca Yeo The Conversation He arrived in Bristol, England, in 2012 hoping to find peace and safety, but his application for asylum was refused. On July 7, 2016, Kamil was murdered. This was almost exactly three years after the murder of another disabled refugee from Iran, Bijan Ebrahimi, also in Bristol. Official enquiries have taken place into the two murders, which were both found ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: Every Immigration Minister since 2002 is guilty of human rights abuses

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We need to recognise that the human rights abuses of asylum seekers is our nation’s awful legacy, and Julian Burnside knows who is to blame. Paul Gregoire The Big Smoke The Norwegian freighter MV Tampa entered Australian waters on 29 August 2001, carrying 433 asylum seekers who’d been stranded in a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean. The vessel crossed the maritime boundary close to Christmas Island, despite having been refused entry by Australia. After a period of being detained at ... Read More »

Europe’s migration crisis: Could it finish the EU?

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Hardened Eurosceptics might love to think the EU’s in trouble, but as leaders gather in Brussels for their summer summit on Thursday, dedicated Europhiles are also sounding the alarm. Katya Adler BBC “The fragility of the EU is increasing,” warns EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. “The cracks are growing in size.” It’s been easy to get distracted this last couple of weeks by the new Italian government and its headline-grabbing rejection of NGO migrant rescue boats. But Mr Juncker is ... Read More »

US ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy still violating fundamental human rights laws

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After public outcry and political pressure, President Donald Trump ended the practice of separating children from their families at the border in an executive order signed on June 20. Jeffrey Davis The Conversation However, he left in place requirements to prosecute or at least detain immigrants who may have entered the country unlawfully – including children and asylum-seekers. On June 25, border control officials announced that families crossing the border would not be detained until sufficient detention space was made ... Read More »