Refugees

The U.S. Has Accepted Only 11 Syrian Refugees This Year

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The Trump administration has condemned a suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria and is considering military action. Deborah Amos Parallels “We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity,” President Trump said earlier this week. But humanitarian organizations are challenging the president’s commitment to humanity when it comes to Syrian civilians — particularly those seeking refuge in the United States. In 2016, near the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. resettled 15,479 Syrian ... Read More »

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

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My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white Shelley Davidow The Guardian This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, leaving a devastating legacy, which many of us across the world still live with and struggle against. I am a white former South African living in Australia, ... Read More »

Leading human rights barrister Julian Burnside examines asylum seeker policies worldwide

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World Premiere of Border Politics The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will screen the world premiere of Border Politics on 15 May in Melbourne. Border Politics follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he crosses the globe to examine the treatment of refugees. Georgia Rowles. Pic: James Dryburgh Tasmanian Times The documentary highlights refugee and asylum seeker policies enforced in developed countries. Julian Burnside compares the attitudes of these countries to demonstrate the role political leadership plays in refugee ... Read More »

The plight of Rohingya women

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As the minority Rohingya people flee persecution in Myanmar, none face greater hardship and suffering than Rohingya women. By Imran Mohammad. The Saturday Paper I write this as a Rohingya man, a refugee, looking at an unacknowledged reality in the upheaval of my people. The majority of Rohingya women have never had the opportunity to express themselves. It is like their lives begin and end inside four walls. They can be made to commit to a virtual stranger in an ... Read More »

Countries ‘unofficially’ excluded by Australia’s refugee program

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MIGRANTS from three specific countries will be denied access to Australia through a government’s resettlement program, according to refugee support groups. Gavin Fernando news.com.au HUMANITARIAN migrants from certain countries will be denied access to Australia through the government’s sponsorship-based resettlement program, according to refugee advocates. According to The Guardian, which first reported on this, the eight prioritised countries include Afghanistan, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar and Syria. But people from Iran, South Sudan and Somalia ... Read More »

Australia’s immigration policy is meant to be blind to race, but is it?

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Analysis: the principle of non discrimination, particularly in the humanitarian program, seems to be eroding Ben Doherty The Guardian Since the abolition of the White Australia policy, the fundamental basis of Australia’s immigration policy has been proudly, declaratively “non-discriminatory”. All of this week and last, the prime minister, home affairs minister and foreign minister all felt obliged to reconfirm this as controversy swirled over what was meant by Australia’s “special attention” for white South African farmers facing violence. “It is ... Read More »

South Africa hails ‘retraction’ of Australian minister’s offer to white farmers

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However, Australian home affairs minister denies that offer of humanitarian visas has been withdrawn Paul Karp The Guardian The Australian home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, has denied that the Australian government retracted his offer for white South African farmers to come to Australia on humanitarian visas. A spokesperson for Dutton reportedly issued the denial after the South African government claimed Australia had gone back on plans to offer fast-track humanitarian visas to “persecuted” white farmers. The difference of opinion suggests Australia ... Read More »

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

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A life in pictures Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. The Guardian During her husband’s incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release and the rights of black South Africans. She later became a controversial figure in South African politics due to allegations of corruption and involvement in acts of brutality. Matt Fidler Read More »

Families leaving Eastern Ghouta take prize possessions

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Families who have left Damascus neighbourhood for Idlib tell of taking their most precious possessions with them. Arwa Ibrahim AlJazeera Abu Jawad was among thousands of Syrians who left their homes and underground shelters in the shrinking rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta to one of the last remaining rebel-held areas in northwest Syria. With dozens of daily convoys of buses making the 320km journey to the Idlib province since late March, families have been forced to take only the… Families leaving Eastern… Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi urges nation to stay united amid ‘challenges’

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Yangon:  Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called  for her people to remain united, saying the South-east Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a… Shoon Naing WAtoday In a televised speech, Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting international condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims that has sent nearly 700,000 ... Read More »

Making drama out of the refugee crisis

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Films about Europe’s migrant crisis run the risk of being artful and exploitative. Now directors are seeking to redress the balance Charlie Phillips The Guardian The release in cinemas next month of young British film-maker Orban Wallace’s Another News Story provides an opportunity to reflect on how documentaries have covered the European migrant crisis since it came to widespread attention in 2015. Wallace’s brilliant film turns the camera on the news crews and film-makers who have spent the past three years waiting on harbours, cliffs ... Read More »

Fears for asylum seekers as Nauru moves to cut ties to Australia’s high court

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Legal experts say end to long-standing arrangement could leave asylum seekers held in detention with ‘virtually no rights’ Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Nauru has severed a long-standing arrangement to allow appeals to the high court of Australia, impacting on the rights of asylum seekers to challenge the refusal of refugee status. The high court is the final appellate court for Nauru, under an agreement between the two countries that has been in place since 1976. It can be terminated by either government ... Read More »

Why Europe shouldn’t follow Australia’s lead on asylum seekers

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Australia’s harsh asylum policies have been touted as a possible solution to Europe’s so-called refugee crisis. Daniel Ghezelbash The Conversation Politicians in the UK, France, Holland, Denmark, Austria and Belgium have advocated for an Australian-style approach aimed at blocking asylum seekers from accessing Europe. But there are a few reasons Europe should be wary of following this lead. Australia’s practice of turning back boats and offshore processing have attracted the most interest. When Australia can’t safely turn back a boat, ... Read More »

Cheating at cricket just one of the unthinkable things Aussies do now

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I can’t see why people are so shocked to discover our cricketers have been cheating. Surely that’s only to be expected in a nation that’s drifted so far from our earlier commitment to decency, mateship and the fair go. Ross Gittins The Sydney Morning Herald Such behaviour is unAustralian? We do, or condone, many things that used to be thought of as unAustralian. There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for Australians to stand by while an ... Read More »

Europe fakes Turkish delight

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Prospect of breathing new life into Turkey’s bid for EU membership remains as remote as ever. Matthew Karnitschnig Politico Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast offers everything Europe’s political elite expect from a good summit: an exotic location, breathtaking views and (most important) casks of fine wine. If only Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hadn’t shown up. For the EU’s top brass, the irascible Turkish leader was the proverbial fly in the summit soup at Monday’s dinner meeting with Council President Donald Tusk, Commission ... Read More »