Refugees

‘A race to the bottom’: how Australia imported its asylum seeker policies from the US

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At the height of the Tampa crisis, Australia turned to a US bureaucrat and asked for advice Ben Doherty The Guardian In August 2001, at the height of the Tampa crisis – 433 rescued asylum seekers on board a freight ship seeking landfall in Australia – the Australian government made a call to an American bureaucrat, then in Geneva, and asked him to the embassy. Years earlier, the bureaucrat had been a key architect of America’s policies towards boat-borne asylum ... Read More »

‘A disaster within a disaster’: aid groups brace for Bangladesh monsoon

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Jakarta: Global aid agencies are warning that nearly a million Rohingya refugees face significant health risks from flooding and water-borne diseases when the full-force of Bangladesh’s monsoon rains hit over-crowded camps next… James Massola The Age The UN refugee agency has estimated there are 876,000 Rohingya refugees in the tiny Cox’s Bazaar district of Bangladesh. About 700,000 of those Rohingya people, including nearly 400,000 children, fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to Bangladesh between August 25 and December last year. ... Read More »

There’s No Escape From Australia’s Refugee Gulag

An image released November 13, 2017, shows detainees staging a protest inside the compound at the Manus Island detention center in Papua New Guinea. Refugee Action Coalition

One branch of Canberra’s notorious offshore detention system has closed. But the men who were imprisoned there are now stranded on a remote Pacific island that doesn’t want them. Mark Isaacs FP ΜANUS ISLAND, Papua New Guinea — When I first entered the Manus Island detention center in early November 2017, I was confronted with an apocalyptic scene. Toilets overflowed with urine and feces; campfires burned in litter-filled corridors; blood-red graffiti riddled the walls; and zombielike figures lay slumped at ... Read More »

Rohingya demand justice as UN delegation visits Bangladesh camps

We Want Justice & Rohingya 1a AM Ahad The Associated Press

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees stage protest during UN Security Council delegation visit to Bangladesh camps. AlJazeera and News Agencies Rohingya refugees have demanded guarantees for a safe return to Myanmar during a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district by a United Nations Security Council delegation. Representatives from the 15 member countries of the UN organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the UN has called“ethnic cleansing” in neighbouring Myanmar in a… At Kutupalong, hundreds ... Read More »

Home Office deportation targets show how Britain’s immigration system is harmful by design

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April has been a month of turbulence for the Home Office. The aftermath of the Windrush exposé has shaken British politics to its core. Authors: The Conversation And now Amber Rudd has resigned as home secretary, days after admitting that her department had internal regional targets to remove illegalised people from the country – some from the Windrush generation who were already British subjects. By setting targets, the intricacies of people’s histories are erased, and humans are reduced to statistics. ... Read More »

‘I feel helpless’: this is the face of child detention on Nauru – video

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Ali is a 12-year-old Iranian asylum seeker detained on Nauru. His mother has been repeatedly recommended for urgent medical transfer to Australia but, 14 months on, there is no immediate plan to move her. The Guardian Read More »

The Youth Movement in Sahrawi Refugee Camps

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Refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, have long been run by the Polisario movement, which seeks an independent state in Western Sahara, also claimed by Morocco. But a new generation of Sahrawi refugees is growing fractious as aid dwindles and diplomatic efforts fail to deliver a settlement. Hannah Armstrong ICG Set deep in the desert outside Tindouf, Algeria, the Sahrawi refugee camps are a remote yet lively political hub. The camps are home to 173,000 refugees of a forgotten conflict: an ... Read More »

Think we’re tough on refugees? That’s fake news

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Fake news is the new black. Drop the phrase in a casual conversation and some people will be silly enough to assume you are an astute observer of the political scene. Amanda Vanstone The Age Fake news is information known at the time to be incorrect which is deliberately fed out into the media stream. Since when has that been a new idea? The problem of incorrect information washing through the media system is not new. Some of it is ... Read More »

Manus Island: lives on hold – photo essay

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Australia’s offshore detention centre has been razed to the ground but for the 600 refugees who remain on the island, little has changed. Amid the torment of isolation from family and friends, depression and the trauma of their past, the men try to get on with their lives by Per Liljas and photography by Jonas Gratzer The Guardian Old times change for new on Manus Island. The centre in which Australia detained hundreds of refugees between 2001 and 2017 has ... Read More »

We cannot rely morally on ‘deterrence’ to justify our harsh refugee policies

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When debate about refugees ascends from slogan swapping (“stop the boats”, “bring them here”) to specific reasoning, there seems only one argument worth considering for the ignominious detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru and the refusal to ever settle any in… Tony Coady The Conversation That argument, advanced by both the government and the opposition (occasionally in a less strident form), stems from deterrence. It’s worth considering the argument even as a handful of these detainees are ... Read More »

Canberra public servant’s sacking over asylum seeker policy tweets found to be ‘unlawful’

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A Canberra public servant sacked for expressing her views on asylum seeker policy, has won her case for compensation after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia found she was unlawfully dismissed. Elise Pianegonda ABC In September 2013, Michaela Banerji was fired from the Federal Department of Immigration after it was revealed she had been using the anonymous Twitter name @LaLegale to criticise the then-government, the minister and department policies — particularly over the handling of refugees. In one tweet Ms ... Read More »

Libyan Refugee Crisis—EU Must Take Responsibility and Alter Its Migrant Policy

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The European Union’s relief efforts must not contribute to the subjugation of the asylum seekers and deny them their basic human and legal rights. Sajid Farid Shampoo The National Interest The world seems to be slowly coming to terms with the Libyan refugee crisis. Despite the loss of over five hundred migrant lives in the Mediterranean sea in the first three months of 2018, the issue has failed to occupy the media spaces in the way it had in the ... Read More »

Germany’s (not so) grand coalition may cause ripple effects on European refugee policy

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After a tumultuous 2017 election and six months of political uncertainty, Germany finally has a government. The so-called “grand coalition” made up of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), its right-wing sister party, the… Kelly Soderstrom and Philomena Murray The Conversation At the centre of it all is the coalition agreement. The 179-page document sets out the goals for the government, including a new approach to Germany’s refugee policy. The agreement explains “a new direction for Europe, a new dynamic for Germany, ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

Julian Burnside in Lesbos 1a photo Supplied LLLL

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »

The children of Windrush: ‘I’m here legally, but they’re asking me to prove I’m British’

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Eight people tell of the harrowing experience of having to prove their status despite having been in the UK legally for half a century How the Guardian broke this story Amelia Gentleman A growing number of people who were born in the Caribbean and came to the UK as children during the 1950s and 60s have been experiencing severe problems with their immigration status because they have never formally naturalised or applied for a… They are the children of the Windrush ... Read More »

Diplomacy, and not bombing, is the way to end Syria’s agony

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More legally questionable and reckless military interventions are not what British people want from their government Jeremy Corbyn The Guardian These are serious times. Following the missile attacks on Syria, now is the moment for a powerful push for peace. Boris Johnson’s blithe acceptance on Sunday that the conflict will now continue on its current course and that peace negotiations would be an “extra” is an unconscionable abdication of… Already this devastating conflict has cost more than 500,000 lives and led to 5 million refugees ... Read More »