Asylum Seekers

‘Darkness surrounds me’: Nauru child refugee paints pictures of despair

Medicated, terrified and traumatised, seven-year-old Ahoora has been held for five years on the island. Experts say his drawings reflect a broader, familial deterioration Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Given pens, Ahoora draws. They are not the conventional drawings of a seven-year-old child: he draws pictures of children on fire, of sharks circling small terrified boys, of crying faces behind bars. Seven-year-old Ahoora, a refugee, has spent most of his life on Nauru. He arrived on the island as ... Read More »

Australia’s barbaric policy confronted by Boochani’s prison memoir

Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani has been exiled on Manus Island since August 2013. Arnold Zable The Age He fled Iran in fear of his safety, as a result of his advocacy on behalf of Kurdish people. I was introduced to Boochani in late 2014. His acclaimed book No Friend but the Mountains was published on July 31. Arnold Zable: Behrouz, for years you have been defined as a refugee, and for a time, as a number – MEG 45 – reduced, as ... Read More »

Why the EU can’t outsource its migration crisis

Brussels’ proposal to create processing centers in North Africa creates more problems than it solves. Melanie Ward Politico LONDON — When disagreements over how best to share the responsibility for asylum seekers and migrants in the European Union flared up earlier this summer, EU policymakers reached once again for a familiar proposal. Rather than seek out a compromise over how best to protect people seeking refuge from conflict or persecution, Europe’s leaders agreed to explore creating so-called “regional disembarkation platforms” — centers outside ... Read More »

Nauru hunger strike: Border Force abandons multiple attempts to move child to Australia

Australian Border Force refuses to allow boy, who has refused food for 19 days, to travel with stepfather Ben Doherty The Guardian Efforts to move a 12-year-old refugee boy on hunger strike on Nauru to a hospital in Australia failed at the weekend, after the Australian Border Force refused to allow his stepfather to travel with him. The 12-year-old boy weighs just 36kg and cannot stand up, after more than two weeks refusing food. He is at risk of death within days, ... Read More »

Countless refugees have been saved at sea by their life jackets — now a Minnesota startup is selling them as bracelets to spread messages of hope

The striking orange life jackets have protected hundreds of thousands of refugees who have braved the Mediterranean Sea on packed, flimsy boats, seeking safety in Europe. Michelle Mark Business Insider Now, the mountains of used jackets discarded on Greek shores have been repurposed — carefully handcrafted into bracelets and bearing a message of hope imprinted on the wristband: “Building humanity piece by piece.” That’s the idea Mohamed Malim, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and former Somali refugee, wants to share with Americans. ... Read More »

Kon Karapanagiotidis on the Shadow of Racism and ”The Power of Hope”

Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM, founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre talks to Daily Review about his new book ‘The Power of Hope’. Fotis Kapetopoulos Kon Karapanagiotidis OAM is tired. He’s suffering a throat infection and has just returned from ten-day national book tour for The Power of Hope. Or How Community Love and Compassion can change the World.  “Yiasou mate… I’m running ragged… they’ve worn me out again,” he rasps over the phone.  Kon has decided to carry much on his ... Read More »

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »