Refugees

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

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It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

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Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

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Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Australia is reported to UN human rights council over illegal detention of asylum seekers

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Government condemned for arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, including a stateless man held for nearly nine years… Ben Doherty The Guardian United Nations body has condemned Australia’s arbitrary detention of three asylum seekers, one of whom has been held without charge or trial for nearly nine years. The UN working group on arbitrary detention – which reports to the human rights council, on which Australia sits – said in its annual report it was concerned by “the rising prevalence ... Read More »

Jailing of Reuters journalists ‘nothing to do with freedom of expression’, says Aung San Suu Kyi

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Myanmar’s State Counsellor, Aung San Suu Kyi, says two jailed Reuters journalists can appeal their seven-year sentence, and that their jailing had nothing to do with freedom of expression. ABC Asked how she felt about jailing journalists as a democratic leader, Suu Kyi said: “They were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because … the court has decided that they have broken the… She made her comments at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi on ... Read More »

Australia deports Iraqi asylum seeker whose appeal was due next week

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Lawyers scrambled to get a legal injunction preventing the deportation but were kept from contacting the man in time. Helen Davidson The Guardian Australian immigration authorities have deported an Iraqi asylum seeker against his will and despite there being a pending court case scheduled to sit next week. Advocates and lawyers scrambled on Wednesday night to get a legal injunction but were prevented from contacting the man on the phone, and by the time a barrister was found to lodge ... Read More »

Danish left veering right on immigration

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Mandatory language lessons, tougher sentences for ghetto crimes, buildings demolished. Integration — by force. By NAOMI O’LEARY Politico COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s right-wing government might once have expected pushback from the left-wing opposition when it introduced a controversial new integration policy. No longer. A recent government proposal, to be finalized by parliament in the fall, would target the country’s so-called ghetto neighborhoods with a series of sanctions and incentives. The intention is to bring immigrant communities fully into Danish society — by ... Read More »

How to Save the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

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Amid the largest displacement crisis since World War II, President Donald Trump’s administration has cut the U.S.’s annual intake of refugees in half. ICG It should reverse course, and future administrations should strive to put refugee admissions on a stronger political and operational footing. What’s new?  Through various forms of bureaucratic strangulation, the Trump administration is working to squeeze the life from a program that has helped resettle three million refugees in the U.S. since 1980. Why does it matter?  The current ... Read More »

Mobile platforms can give refugees access to vital information when they arrive in Australia

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Waves of asylum seekers emerging from conflict zones in Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere are expected to add more than one million people to global resettlement needs this year. Authors: The Conversation These refugees face a world of closing doors, but they also offer economic opportunities and cultural enrichment to countries that welcome them. While some refugees are integrating well in regional Australia, others still face significant challenges in the capital cities. As concerned researchers, we are interested ... Read More »

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

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SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

Young and resilient

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The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

Nauru blocks transfer of mentally ill refugee to Australia despite Federal Court order

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The Government of Nauru has blocked the medical evacuation of a refugee needing urgent treatment for depression and trauma-related conditions, despite court orders stipulating she must be brought to… Exclusive by Emma Younger and Sarah Farnsworth ABC An urgent Federal Court hearing this evening was told the failure to transfer the woman to Australia left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Commonwealth in breach of court orders made on… The court heard Nauru’s secretary for Multicultural Affairs refused to ... Read More »

Refugees in Indonesia don’t want to get on boats. They want basic rights

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If they get access to a fair resettlement process, refugees won’t be interested in anything people smugglers are trying to sell Asher Hirsch The Guardian This week, home affairs minister Peter Dutton again reiterated the false claim that “there are 14,000 people in Indonesia waiting to get on to boats now”. I’ve just returned from a research trip in Indonesia, where I spoke to many refugees. Such a claim is not only disingenuous, it also highlights the double standards of ... Read More »

Explainer: why the UN has found Myanmar’s military committed genocide against the Rohingya

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The UN Human Rights Council released a new report last Monday, which calls last year’s violence against the Rohingya “genocide”. Anthony Ware The Conversation Released almost exactly a year after the start of devastating violence that drove 671,500 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh within a matter of months, the report found conclusive evidence that Myanmar’s armed… Using the strongest language to date, the report calls for the Myanmar commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and five generals to be prosecuted. What was the ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

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Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

Nauru’s asylum seeker tents demolished ahead of Pacific Islands Forum

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Sources say move intended to spare visiting leaders the sight of people living in notorious camp Helen Davidson, Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Nauru’s government has moved asylum seekers out of the detention centre and demolished the tents ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum next week. The tents at regional processing centre 3 (RPC-3) were erected five years ago, and at least 100 people have continued to live in them since the facility was deemed “open” in 2015. ... Read More »