Refugees

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

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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

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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 »

Fast-track assessment fundamentally unfair to refugees, high court told

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Legal Aid Victoria argues those who arrive by boat are treated as second-class in first high court challenge to new regime Calla Wahlquist  The Guardian Legal Aid Victoria has challenged the “fundamental unfairness” of the fast-tracked refugee assessment process in the high court, arguing that it treats those who arrived by boat as second class. The one-day hearing on Thursday focused on the case of an Iranian asylum seeker in his mid-20s whose application for a temporary protection visa was ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Enters a Dangerous New Phase

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The mass flight of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Rakhine State has created a humanitarian catastrophe and serious security risks, including potential cross-border militant attacks. ICG The international community should press the Myanmar government to urgently implement the Annan commission’s proposals, including as regards discrimination, segregation and citizenship. What’s the issue?  The response of Myanmar’s military to militant group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army’s (ARSA) August attacks has led to one of the most catastrophically fast refugee exoduses in modern times. More ... Read More »

The true origins of Myanmar’s Rohingya

Hosne Ara, 4, a Rohingya refugee who fled Myanmar two-months ago listens to children singing at a children's centre in the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo      SEARCH "POY GLOBAL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES.    TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The furious debate over when the ethnic group first arrived in Rakhine state will not easily be resolved CARLOS SARDIÑA GALACHE Asia Times The recent visit of Pope Francis to Myanmar provoked a storm of controversy over his decision to avoid using the term “Rohingya”, with some accusing the pontiff of unwittingly emboldening ultra-nationalist forces who refuse to accept the term. Others defended the pope’s blatant omission of the word as sound diplomacy at a delicate juncture. The highest authority ... Read More »

Attacks on Manus refugees is Australia’s Christmas shame, says human rights group

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Australia’s name for decency and a fair go has been permanently stained by the latest sickening violence on Manus Island, Liberty Victoria said today. Reports of attacks on refugees with metal poles and other weapons to force them to a new unfinished prison after three weeks of resistance shames the nation, said Liberty president Jessie Taylor. “Our leaders seem deaf to the appeals by Australians of the Year, religious leaders and people going into the street,” she said. Award-winning journalist ... Read More »

Pope Francis asks for forgiveness from Rohingya refugees

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Pope Francis has used the term “Rohingya” for the first time during his current trip to Asia to refer to refugees who have fled in large numbers from violence in Myanmar. ABC Reuters “The presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” he said in an improvised remark after meeting 16 refugees brought to the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka from their camps in Cox’s Bazar near the border with Myanmar. “In the name of all of those who have persecuted you, ... Read More »

Australia’s offshore detention regime is a brutal and obscene piece of self-delusion

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The billions spent on an armada to Australia’s north and west is stopping people smugglers, not the government’s needlessly cruel stance Ben Doherty and Helen Davidson |The Guardian <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/083f39962459e2911cf02c0302757c7c/content.css”/> The most dangerous mistruth in current Australian politics is that in order for lives to be saved at sea, other people – accused of no crime – must be indefinitely and arbitrarily punished offshore. Asserted with increasing confidence as fact, this unproven link is used to justify Australia’s ... Read More »

Why I locked myself to the gate of Kirribilli House

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Hwvar Khoshnow was one of five Christian protesters who locked themselves to the front gate of Kirribilli House in non-violent direct action, calling for the evacuation of Manus Island. Eternity News Here, she tells Eternity, why she did it. I’ve been involved in protests before, but I have not risked arrest before or participated in a “lock on”. The worsening situation on Manus was heavy on my heart and I was moved to do something in support and solidarity with ... Read More »

Australia still embraces multiculturalism but fracture lines are deepening

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Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion Report finds ugly discrimination is on the rise, and we no longer listen to political leaders David Marr Australia is a decent country where ugly discrimination is on the rise The Guardian We’re no longer listening when our leaders urge us to face down bigots in the interest of calm and good sense. Most of us embrace life in the new multiethnic Australia, but the constituency of those hostile to race is steadily growing. That ... Read More »

Julie Bishop didn’t raise Manus Island refugee issue says Winston Peters

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Reports that the Government’s position on Manus Island refugees strained New Zealand’s relationship with Australia were “misinterpretations”, Parliament has been told. tvnz Facing opposition questions today, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop didn’t raise the issue when they met. National’s foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee asked him whether he had seen any reports suggesting the Government was causing strain in the relationship with Australia because of its position on the refugees. “If by reports the… Julie ... Read More »

Foreign parliaments are not powerless to help the Rohingya – their pressure on Myanmar is vital

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As the pope made a high profile visit to Myanmar in late November, attention turned to how to help the thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled their homes to Bangladesh following violence and what UN officials have described as ethnic cleansing. Wessel Vermeulen Andreja Pegan  A deal struck between the two countries to start returning the refugees, has been criticised for going against international refugee law. The Conversation Western politicians have also travelled to Myanmar and Bangladesh to witness ... Read More »

In Times Of Crisis We Must Work Especially Hard To Protect Women And Girls

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Violence against women and girls anywhere and at any time is not acceptable Julie Bishop In conflicts and crises across the world, women and girls can suffer terrible abuses HuffPost The UN estimates that seven in 10 women are exposed to violence in crises The risk of abuse increases when they flee without the family or community networks that would normally support them, leaving them vulnerable to trafficking or assault. The trauma of such experiences cannot be overstated, severely affecting ... Read More »

Boochani arrest is an attack on press freedom

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MEAA, the union for Australian media workers, stands in solidarity with Iranian-Kurdish journalist and regular contributor to Australian publications, Behrouz Boochani, who has reportedly been arrested today on Manus Island. MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said Boochani appeared to have been deliberately targeted by Papua New Guinea police in today’s crackdown because of his high-profile as a journalist reporting from inside the detention centre. “Behrouz has been one of the main sources of factual information about conditions inside the Manus ... Read More »

How spending time in city parks helps asylum seekers to feel at home

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Across Europe, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers are currently waiting for a decision on their refugee status Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek Clare Rishbeth  Unable to legally work or study, and with very limited funds, many of them feel as though they’re in a state of limbo; like their lives have been put on hold. The Conversation With shrinking public sector funding, there are even fewer resources available to help asylum seekers in this position. But now, new research shows that urban parks ... Read More »

‘I cannot leave my neighbour hungry’: support for refugees from priest and major on Manus

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Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh are defying both the PNG and Australian governments Ben Doherty The Guardian Τhe major and the father seek salvation for the refugees of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Two Manusian men – Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh – are defying the PNG and Australian governments in calling for assistance for the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus, and for a peaceable solution to the ... Read More »