Humanity

Offshore detention cost taxpayers $5bn in four years – and asylum seekers remain in limbo

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Vigils to mark anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s banning of asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever settling in… Ben Doherty  The Guardian Four years since the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia”, offshore detention has cost Australian taxpayers almost $5bn and the future of those held on… On 19 July 2013, Rudd announced all boat-borne asylum seekers would be subject ... Read More »

UN seeks $421 million for African refugee flow

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MILAN:The United Nations’ refugee agency is appealing for $421.2 million to help improve protection of refugees in sub-Saharan and North Africa and back efforts in… AP ArabNews The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday the plan, which incorporates previous appeals, is needed “to help provide meaningful alternatives to refugees and others undertaking… It says 2,171 refugees and migrants were reported dead or missing as they tried to cross the central Mediterranean in this… UN seeks $421… Read More »

Diplomats to Tillerson: don’t eliminate state department’s refugee office

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National security officials are arguing the elimination the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration would have ‘profound and negative implications’ Reuters in Washington The Guardian Forty former US diplomats and national security officials urged the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, not to eliminate the state department office that handles refugees, in a letter seen by Reuters on Monday. The letter argued that a Trump administration proposal to transfer the… Diplomats to Tillerson… Read More »

Border Force: A threat to us all

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Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence… IA NEVER FORGET the lesson of Martin Niemöller. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you. Recently, two Australian citizens arrived back in Australia after a long overnight flight. They had nothing to declare and… Border Force: A… Read More »

What Liu Xiaobo’s Death Says about China’s Regime

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Beijing did not have the decency to let him go free in his final hours. Gordon G. Chang The National Interest A prisoner of conscience died this week in the hands of a regime that has no conscience. Liu Xiaobo was sixty-one. He passed away Thursday in the Chinese city of Shenyang. The city’s Bureau of Justice said the cause was “multiple organ… Liu was, by all accounts, China’s most well-known dissident. He was jailed various times and… What Liu ... Read More »

The only hope for democracy is for politicians to stand up to political parties

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Opinion Democracy has largely been reduced to a contest between three dominant parties, two of which act in coalition. Tony Fitzgerald  ABC Each is a private organisation with a small membership which primarily represents the interests — in particular the economic interests — of a section of the… They dominate public discussion and debate and one or other of them has governed Australia for more than 70… They enacted the… The only hope… Read More »

Refugees are helping others in their situation as social entrepreneurs

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While on the run from war, persecution and natural disasters, refugees are actually helping others in their situation. Jarrod Ormiston The Conversation They are creating organisations and enterprises that train and offer jobs to fellow refugees, giving them a fresh start. And its these enterprises that are also helping countries to overcome some of the challenges of economic and social integration. Our study mapped the… Refugees are helping… Read More »

France reveals reform plan on migrants, refugees

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Draft laws aim to cut application times, find more accommodation for asylum seekers, quickly remove failed candidates Hajer M’tiri AA French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveiled on Wednesday draft legislation to cut asylum-application times from over a year to six months. Since last year, France has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of asylum applications, according to government figures. The Action Plan on Immigration and… France reveals reform… Read More »

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

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Lawyers who are part of a coalition of NGOs have welcomed the wide-ranging findings made by a UN committee about Australia’s human rights record and are calling on the government to address the nation’s poor… Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Australia has been taken to task by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a new report released last… The committee assessed how well Australia has managed to meet its commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social… ... Read More »

The time has come for a new international migration system

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If unaddressed, the current flow of refugees and migrants from Africa and Asia headed toward Europe might well turn into a major uncontrolled population movement for which Western governments will only… Alexander Casella  Asia Times And the consequences in Europe where immigration has become a domestic political issue are liable to be far… Historically refugee movements were essentially regional and did not overflow their… The time has… Read More »

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkish President could face arrest in Sweden over ‘genocide’ lawsuit

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Complaint is country’s first to be lodged against head of state, which could see him arrested if pursued by prosecutor’s… Lucy Pasha-Robinson Independent Swedish lawmakers have filed a complaint against the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of genocide, crimes against humanity and war… Five MPs filed the lawsuit with Sweden’s public prosecutor for Mr Erdogan’s role in the bloody conflict between Turkish forces and Kurdish militants since… Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

KKK marchers in Virginia town met by throngs of counter-protesters

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Supporters of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan marched in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8 to protest the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who oversaw Confederate forces in the… Hurriyet The Klan marchers were met by hundreds of jeering counter-protesters in this quiet university town, where the protest by the notorious white power group was authorized by officials in… Dozens of marchers – some carrying Confederate flags, a… KKK marchers in… Read More »

What are they so afraid of? I’m just a young brown Muslim woman speaking my mind

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By asserting my identity in a way that challenges my ‘place in the world’, I inadvertently challenge those who feel entitled to their privilege and status Yassmin Abdel-Magied The Guardian Given that I am now the most publicly hated Muslim in Australia, people have been asking me how I am. What do I say? That life has been great and I can’t wait to start my new adventure in London? That I’ve been overwhelmed with messages of support? Or do ... Read More »

Viewpoints: should euthanasia be available for people with existential suffering?

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Euthanasia debates often focus on people experiencing unbearable physiological or psychological… Xavier Symons Udo Schüklenk The Conversation But research suggests “loss of autonomy” is the primary reason for requesting euthanasia, even among patients with terminal… There have also been suggestions existential suffering could be one of the main motivations behind such… Existential suffering refers to an individual experiencing a… Viewpoints: should euthanasia… Read More »

ATO fraud scandal: just how big is the public service’s nepotism problem?

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Public servants’ conflicts of interest remain ineffectively monitored. Richard Mulgan The Canberra Times The recent resignation of Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, along with allegations of impropriety against other senior ATO officials, raises important questions about public sector ethics and… The accusations arose out of extensive inquiries into a tax fraud involving Plutus Payroll Australia, a company providing payroll services for large… ATO fraud scandal… Read More »