Refugees

Explainer: why is Australia adopting the global refugee compact but not the migration compact?

Australia was one of 176 countries to vote in favour of the Global Compact on Refugees (refugee compact) in mid-November this year. Azadeh Dastyari The Conversation The United Nations General Assembly will adopt it by the end of 2018. However, Australia did not join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (migration compact) at a conference in Morocco on December 10-11. What are the compacts and what do they aim to do? There is much confusion about the ... Read More »

Australia faces class actions for ‘crimes against humanity’ on Manus and Nauru

One day after the government filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, human rights lawyers have filed two class action suits alleging “torture”, “persecution” and “other inhumane acts”. Chris Woods Crikey Local human rights lawyers have launched two class action lawsuits alleging that Australia’s offshore detention regimes demonstrate negligence amounting to crimes against humanity and torture. Just a day after the government successfully filibustered proposed changes to medical transfers from Nauru, George Newhouse (principal solicitor at the National Justice Project) filed two ... Read More »

‘Each of those children have a dream to be someone’:

Powerful moment refugee lawyer who fled to Australia as a teenager challenges Q&A viewer about kids being kept on Nauru Refugee lawyer fired back at viewer who asked a controversial question on Q&A Man asked why the gov. ‘creating an issue’ about less than 10 children on Nauru Ms Nyoun shot back that each of the children had goals, dreams and ambitions A refugee lawyer has expressed her frustration at the lack of government action on refugee children living in ... Read More »

Human rights in 2018 – ten issues that made headlines

On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Authors: The Conversation Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights”. Here we highlight some of the rights challenges that captured the world’s attention this year, illustrating the struggle to secure human rights is far from over. 1. Australia’s first year on the UN Human Rights Council Australia took its ... Read More »

‘Dark day’: migrant rescue ship Aquarius ends operations

Médecins Sans Frontières says ‘smear campaign’ by European governments hampered work in Mediterranean Reuters The Guardian Search and rescue ship Aquarius, which has saved tens of thousands of migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean, has ended its operations, said Médecins Sans Frontières, the charity that runs the ship. MSF and its partner SOS Mediterranee said they were forced to terminate its operations due to a “smear campaign” by European governments. The ship has been blocked at the French port of ... Read More »

PM escapes threat to his control of Parliament as Labor backs down on encryption

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has survived a dire threat to his control of Parliament from a determined attempt to change asylum seeker policy, sparking a blame game that forced Labor to back down on… David Crowe The Age Mr Morrison blocked attempts to amend migration laws to transfer more asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, but was forced to delay a major policy on energy in order to avoid a… The ruthless tactics deepened hostilities between the ... Read More »

Hunger, violence and constant stress: The brutal truth of life as a child refugee

As a former child refugee, I feel very strongly for the children on Nauru. I know the sense of uncertainty and hopelessness that comes from being stuck in limbo — not knowing if or when you might get to live freely in a… Sayed Rabbani ABC I was just 9 years old when my family fled Afghanistan for the third time in 2001, when the war in retaliation for the 9/11 attacks on America began. I remember the first airstrike ... Read More »

Medical evacuations are essential to maintain basic human decency

Some lessons are learned too late. For refugee Hamid Khazaei, who died of sepsis contracted on Manus Island, belated reforms can no longer help. Catherine Stubberfield The Sydney Morning Herald Reflecting on his death, the Queensland State Coroner earlier this year could not have been clearer in his findings. That bureaucrats and politicians should never be allowed to override a clinical decision made by a medical doctor. That Australia retains responsibility for those it has relocated under so-called “offshore processing” ... Read More »

Life on Nauru’s ‘Limboland’ examined in new documentary

The frustration of asylum seekers suspended between states is laid bare in a new documentary, Limboland. David McCowen The Canberra Times Australian artist Lachlan Hinton and photojournalist Mridula Amin travelled to Nauru in September, returning with first-hand video accounts of refugees detained on the tiny pacific island. “The people that we have managed to interview are people that have never been seen or heard by the Australian public,” Hinton said. “They’re people speaking out for the first time about their ... Read More »

Hillary Clinton urges Europe to curb migration to stop populists

Former US presidential candidate says leaders must show they can no longer ‘provide refuge and support.’ Eline Schaart Politico Europe needs a tougher approach on immigration in order to curb the growing threat of right-wing populists, Hillary Clinton said, calling on EU leaders to show their electorates that they can no longer “provide refuge and support.” “I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said in an interview with the Guardian published ... Read More »

Australia refuses to sign UN migration pact, citing risks to turnbacks and detention

Morrison government says global deal risks reversing ‘hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade’ Paul Karp The Guardian The Morrison government has confirmed it will not sign up to the United Nation’s migration pact, claiming it will undermine Australia’s harsh policies to deter asylum seekers despite Australia’s role in helping to draft it. The Refugee Council of Australia and advocates have strongly rejected the government’s claim, citing the fact the compact is non-binding and has a provision stating that countries ... Read More »

Setback for Rohingya refugees as Bangladeshi repatriation plan stalls

Cox’s Bazar: Bangladesh’s plans to tackle the Rohingya refugee crisis are set to be stalled until the new year with repatriation and relocation programmes only likely be revisited after year-end general elections, a… Zeba Siddiqui Brisbane Times More than 720,000 Rohingya fled a sweeping army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017, according to UN agencies. The crackdown was launched in response to insurgent Rohingya attacks on… Rohingya refugees say soldiers and Buddhist civilians killed families, burned many villages and carried ... Read More »

Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

US only country in the world to vote against work of UN refugee agency

‘We will detain and prosecute those who enter US territory illegally,’ American ambassador says Harry Cockburn Independent The US has rejected a United Nations resolution on the work of the organisation’s refugee agency (UNHCR), amid American concerns over the document’s provision for immigrants and refugees. It was the only country to block the resolution on Tuesday, with US ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie saying it would not accept the draft text because parts of the document did ... Read More »

Justin Trudeau Conflating BDS With Anti-Semitism Is Dangerous

As Canadian scholars, we urge Trudeau to retract his wrong-spirited comments that demonize the work students, community members and activists have done. Sarah Ghabrial and Elena Razlogova HuffPost On November 7, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a well overdue apologyon behalf of all Canadians for the rejection of the MS St. Louis in 1939. Canada’s refusal to allow more than 900 refugees, mostly German Jews fleeing Nazism, to disembark at Halifax was only one part of a systematic government effort to ... Read More »

Mike Pence issues rebuke to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over ‘persecution’ of Rohingya Muslims

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse.” Sophie Williams Evening Standard He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore. While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: “The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without ... Read More »