Refugees

Italy’s ‘minister of fear’

Interior Minister Marco Minniti credits his ‘desert diplomacy’ with stopping the flow of migrants to Italy. By GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico To his admirers, Marco Minniti, Italy’s powerful interior minister, is the mastermind who solved Europe’s migration problem. To his critics, he’s the unscrupulous architect of a secret deal with North African militias and thus responsible for severe human rights violations of refugees trapped in Libyan detention centers. Since he took office in December 2016, the 61-year-old former communist from Calabria, ... Read More »

Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely to receive schooling in 2018

A humanitarian organisation has warned of a “lost generation” with more than 500,000 Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh unlikely to receive schooling in 2018. AlJazeera The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said unless interventions are “urgently funded”, the humanitarian needs of children will only increase. “Education in emergencies is a life-saving and life-changing intervention – helping children recover and cope with the continuing adversity they face,” said Sarah Smith, the… “This is incredibly urgent for Rohingya children; no… Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely… Read More »

‘This republic breaks all borders’: a dialogue with Behrouz Boochani on Manus

I have known Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani since 2014. Arnold Zable He fled Iran in fear for his safety as an advocate for Kurdish rights and culture. The Age He has been detained on Manus Island since August 2013. Over the years we have often discussed his predicament, and how it has changed the way he views the world. Behrouz combines political insight with philosophical reflection, but at heart he is an artist: a writer and poet with an eye for both ... Read More »

Myanmar: UN human rights investigator barred from entering country amid Rohingya crisis

The UN independent investigator into human rights in Myanmar has called for stronger international pressure to be exerted on Myanmar’s military commanders after being barred from visiting the country for the rest of her… ABC Reuters Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur, had been due to visit in January to assess human rights across Myanmar, including alleged abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. But Myanmar had told her she was no longer welcome, she said, adding in a statement that ... Read More »

Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after failing to meet deadline

Detainee struggled to fill out 41-page application form in English – and was not able to access legal assistance in time Ben Doherty The Guardian A Tamil asylum seeker has become the first person slated for deportation – without having his claim for protection even assessed – after falling foul of the ministerial deadline of 1 October to apply. The man, who has been given the pseudonym Rajah because he remains at risk of being deported, was placed in handcuffs ... Read More »

Human Rights Of Those Detained By Australia On Manus Have Been Breached, PNG Court Rules

“This will cost the Australian government, politically and financially,” advocates say. Gina Rushton BuzzFeed Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on Manus Island have been breached. The court found in April last year that asylum seekers were illegally detained on Manus Island but it has now dismissed an attempt by the PNG government to stop the detainees making compensation claims for…<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/static-assets/css/enhanced.dae4f976df2b092a196fc7f20d2a0912.css”> Refugee Action Coalition ... Read More »

Calls to adopt child abuse inquiry’s recommendations on immigration detention

Government urged to implement child safety standards after royal commission makes several recommendations relating to immigration department Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty The Guardian The federal government must immediately heed recommendations by the royal commission to protect children currently in its immigration detention system, human rights lawyers have said. On Friday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse delivered its final report, primarily focused on religious institutions and state-based care homes – many of which have long… ... Read More »

Manus Island cartoonist Eaten Fish in safety in ICORN residency

Award winning Iranian cartoonist Ali Dorani, known as Eaten Fish, has left Papa New Guinea and is now in safety. ICORN  Dorani has spent the past four years in a refugee detention camp on Manus Island, Papua New Guniea. “I have left PNG. It was a long journey but I am safe now. I am thinking about my friends in Manus Island and Port Moresby. Thank you to my supporters and people who worked to make this journey happen.” Statement ... Read More »

6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

“At least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of five,” MSF said Dec. 14. YANGON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group’s findings come from six surveys of more than 11,426 people in Rohingya refugee camps and cover the first month after the crisis erupted. “We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh,” ... Read More »

Why rights must trump politics if new global plans on refugees and migrants are to make a difference

The world has a chance to strike a bold agreement in 2018 that could improve the lives of refugees and migrants, but only if world leaders put aside the politics that often plagues debate on these issues and focus on people’s fundamental rights. Heaven Crawley Katharine Jones It’s been more than a year since leaders came together in September 2016 at the UN to try and bolster international cooperation on migration and refugee issues. The Conversation The resulting New York ... Read More »

Our Border Protection Spin Isn’t Fooling The World, UN Docs Reveal

The international community is not fooled by Australia’s human rights offending immigration policies, writes Kellie Tranter. New Matilda In January this year, Treasurer and former immigration minister Scott Morrison told Australians: “We are the envy of the world when it comes to strong border protection policies that protect the integrity of our immigration system.” Yet heavily redacted documents released under Freedom of Information laws relating to our bid for the United Nations Human Rights Council suggest that in diplomatic circles, ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce says New Zealand should ‘back off’ on offer to resettle refugees

Deputy PM says Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to resettle up to 150 refugees from Manus Island could jeopardise the countries’ relationship Ben Doherty The Guardian Recently renounced New Zealand citizen Barnaby Joyce has said his former homeland should back off on its offer to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime. In an interview with Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, the recently-reinstalled deputy prime minister of Australia issued a veiled threat to the NZ prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that her commitment ... Read More »

Locals threaten violence against Manus Island asylum seekers at new accommodation

Asylum seekers on Manus Island say local people are threatening to kill them after they moved into new accommodation in the island’s town Eric Tlozek ABC The men have provided video evidence of local men — who appear to be drunk — coming to their accommodation and threatening them. In one incident, in the early hours of the morning on December 10, a group of four men approached the main gate of the West Haus accommodation compound. A video filmed ... Read More »

New Zealand creates special refugee visa for Pacific islanders affected by climate change

SYDNEY – With ocean levels rising in recent decades due to the warming planet, one of the most direct effects has been on the residents of low-lying Pacific nations where coasts have been subsiding and some islands have disappeared. Jonathan Pearlman The Straits Times The result is a looming wave of “climate refugees” who are set to present a new migration problem to the region. As some Pacific countries prepare to relocate entire communities, New Zealand’s newly-elected Labor-led coalition government ... Read More »

What life is like for asylum seekers and refugees in Northern Ireland

Astur lives in Belfast, a city divided by long looming peace walls, one legacy of the Northern Ireland “Troubles”. Fiona Murphy Ulrike M Vieten She comes from Somalia, a country riven by conflict, war and torture and took many months to reach this place of barricades and reconciliation, of hope and gaiety – a place of enduring confusion and ongoing division. The Conversation Successive cataclysms of political authoritarianism and ethnic conflict in Somalia forced her to flee with her two ... Read More »

Syrian boys caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse: UN

Syrian men and boys, in their war-torn country and abroad, have suffered “a vicious cycle” of sexual abuse with more devastating consequences than previously reported, the United Nations said on Dec. 7. BEIRUT – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet In its new report, “We Keep it in our Heart,” the UN’s refugee agency said it had documented widespread sexual violence against Syrian males, including those seeking refuge. “There have been documented reports of how Syrian women and girls have suffered sexual violence ... Read More »