Refugees

Asylum seeker boat turn-back questions going unanswered by Government, says UNHCR

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The United Nations refugee agency has asked Australia to prove it is not breaching the Refugee Convention with its policy of turning back asylum seeker boats. Speaking in Jakarta, the UNHCR’s regional representative says the Australian Government has not responded to the UN’s concerns about the policies. The request for information was made in January. UNHCR regional representative James Lynch ... Read More »

Nauru breaching international law, says UN

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Nauru is breaching its international obligations by failing to establish an independent body to investigate torture and human rights abuses in the detention centre. The Nauruan government has also refused access to several United Nations groups wanting to inspect the centre. Questions have been raised about Australia’s “disintergrating” relationship with the small island nation, which houses 1179 asylum seekers, and whether ... Read More »

Indonesia makes veiled criticism of Tony Abbott as Marty Natalegawa emphasises human rights of asylum seekers

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The Indonesian Foreign Minister has again made a series of implied criticisms of Australia’s asylum seeker policies, saying the problem “defies national solutions” and any policy should protect the human rights of smuggling victims. Without specifically mentioning the Abbott government’s boat turn-back policy, Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Monday that “shared responsibility, not shifting of responsibility,” was the way forward. ... Read More »

Security guard still haunted by what he witnessed at Manus Island detention centre

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ANOTHER security guard has come forward with details about the hellish conditions facing detainees at the Manus Island detention centre. The Australian, who worked at the facility with multinational security company G4S for six months last year, said he is still haunted from what he saw. “In the end I had to leave because my conscience couldn’t take it anymore,” ... Read More »

A 12-Year-Old’s Trek of Despair Ends in a Noose at the Border

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Noemi Álvarez Quillay’s death in Mexico was ruled a suicide. Credit José Luis Llivisaca Noemi Álvarez Quillay took the first steps of the 6,500-mile journey to New York City from the southern highlands of Ecuador on Tuesday, Feb. 4, after darkness fell. A bashful, studious girl, Noemi walked 10 minutes across dirt roads that cut through corn and potato fields, reaching the ... Read More »

‘Palikari,’ a Greek migrant’s story destined to echo in eternity

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The documentary was filmed in a number of locations, including Oakland, California, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Chicago, Illinois. The filmmakers also visited a number of sites in Colorado, where the Ludlow Massacre took place. These included Denver, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs It could have been a scene from Orthodox Easter anywhere in Greece: Relatives, friends and co-workers gathering ... Read More »

Australian self-interest through Asian eyes

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As many Australians prepare for a holiday marking the most important Christian festival of year, it’s worth remembering that Jesus of Nazareth began life as a refugee, taken to Egypt to escape King Herod’s slaughter of male infants. The refugee family eventually went home, so there was no need to transfer the infant to an offshore detention facility – I ... Read More »