Refugees

Suu Kyi takes a populist, paranoid turn

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Myanmar de facto leader conflated illegal migration with terrorism in a keynote speech, adding her voice to the Islamophobia that has justified persecution of the Rohingya DAVID SCOTT MATHIESON Asia Times Myanmar’s increasingly internationally maligned de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi signaled a neo-populist turn in her speech on Monday to the Asia Europe Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting held at Naypyitaw. Echoing similar statements from Islamophobic populist leaders in Europe, the United States and Australia, Suu Kyi said, “conflicts around the ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

Manus Island: Those For Whom We Cannot Grieve

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As a nation, overcoming our fear of ‘the other’ and exposing our own vulnerabilities is the key to ending the crisis on Manus Island, writes Elise Addlem. New Matilda The 600 men trapped between the Manus Island detention centre and the unknown that comes next are people defined negatively as individuals. They are not defined, as they once were, as a member of a country, as a father, a son, a partner, a friend. Now, they have been hollowed out ... Read More »

All we want is freedom – not another prison camp

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Over the past four years we have become a mere subject for politicians and the media. Our human dignity has been debased and all our dreams shattered Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Μanus prison has reached a historic landmark. It’s a culmination of years of premeditated violence and affliction. For more than 10 days hundreds of refugees have been refusing to leave the prison camp and, as a result, the situation has morphed into a large-scale humanitarian crisis. If things deteriorate ... Read More »

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lashes Australia over treatment of Manus Island refugees

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has blasted Australia’s handling of the refugee crisis on Manus Island as unacceptable as she seeks another meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on the issue. NZ Herald Ardern has continued to push New Zealand’s offer to accept 150 refugees and asylum seekers from Australia’s offshore detention centres since her first face- to-face meeting with her Australian counterpart in Sydney a week ago. She wants a more substantive conversation when both leaders reach the Philippines for the East ... Read More »

The human touch: Australian eyes that ‘can’t look away’ from Manus

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As the crisis on Manus Island deepens, it sheds light on an unwritten history, still in the making, of deep friendships between asylum seekers and their supporters in… Arnold Zable The Age Contrary to the accusations made by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton that advocates are telling asylum seekers on Manus Island or elsewhere what to do, their long-time supporters are extremely worried about the men’s wellbeing and… They are torn between deep anxiety at the danger and stress the men are ... Read More »

UN slams Australia’s human rights record

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Last night, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released its recommendationsfrom its review of Australia’s compliance with a key human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Anna Cody  Maria Nawaz The committee harshly criticised Australia for failures in key areas. The Conversation These included the treatment of refugees, Indigenous rights and inadequate protection of human rights, including the lack of a national human rights act. What is the UN Human Rights Committee? This is the treaty body for the… UN slams Australia’s… Read More »

‘We are not very caring’: Michelle de Kretser on Australian society

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In her new novel The Life to Come, the Miles Franklin-winning author critiques Australia’s character, and the boom that made us bad Brigid Delaney The Guardian Children of Australia’s long boom – who travel the world only to complain about lack of good coffee, who signal virtue by retweeting an asylum seeker story, who couldn’t imagine living in a house with only one bathroom, who are “really into food” – may find Michelle de Kretser’s new book an uncomfortable read. ... Read More »

There Will Soon Be Floods Of Climate Refugees: Will They Get Asylum?

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New Zealand is considering creating a new visa for people fleeing environmental disasters brought on by climate change Adele Peters FastCompany In 2012, a migrant worker from the tiny, low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati tried to become a refugee in New Zealand, arguing that he and his family were afraid to go home because of the impacts of rising sea levels. The courts didn’t accept that the dangers were imminent–or that they were due to reasons of persecution that ... Read More »

The Nansen passport: the innovative response to the refugee crisis that followed the Russian Revolution

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The triumph of revolution in Russia in 1917 brought an end to the 300-year old Romanov dynasty and the empire over which it ruled Peter Gatrell The Conversation The collapse of the German, Austrian and Ottoman war effort in 1918 precipitated the end of the remaining continental European empires. In each instance, imperial dissolution went hand in hand with the formation of new states. The Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921, led to an exodus of people who opposed ... Read More »

The breath of death on Manus Island: starvation and sickness

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Diary of a disaster: One of the refugees, who went to East Lorengau a few days ago, has walked back for more than 30km. We are all scared and hungry. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. The Guardian invited Boochani to keep a diary of the closure of the Australian-run detention camp. Friday 3 November The refugees wake me up early in the morning. When this ... Read More »

Refugees, Made Visible

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Australia’s absolute refusal to resettle migrants who approach the country by boat sets it apart worldwide, and debate over that policy flared yet again this week as the government tried to shutter its Manus Island detention center even as more than 600 asylum seekers refused to relocate. Damien Cave The New York Times The men, refugees from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other countries, said they had no food, no electricity and barely any water, but because they feared they ... Read More »

Three charts on: job prospects for refugees in Australia

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Hola gracias el gracis While refugees will always face major challenges in making the transition to employment, new research indicates their job prospects improve the longer they are in Australia. Pilar Rioseco  John De Maio But for those who do find work, it’s not always in their chosen profession. Most are in low-skilled occupations. The Conversation The Building a New Life in Australia study is longitudinal, following the journey of almost 2,400 humanitarian migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, from ... Read More »

Latvia to build fence along Belarus border

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Officials in Latvia said Wednesday that a 120-kilometre (74-mile) border fence with Belarus will be built as soon as a similar fence along the Baltic state’s border with Russia has been completed in 2018 RIGA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Speaking on Latvian public radio, Olegs Jemasovs, the border guard chief for the southeast Daugavpils region, said 3.7 million euros ($4.3 million) would be spent on securing the country’s eastern borders in 2018, with the total cost of the Belarus fence ... Read More »

‘Disgusting’: Liberal Party elder statesman condemns government over Manus standoff

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Former Liberal leader John Hewson has unleashed an extraordinary spray at the Turnbull government over its handling of the Manus Island standoff, singling out Immigration Minister Peter Dutton as uncompassionate, and accusing both sides of politics of a “disgusting race to the… Luke Henriques Gomes TheNewDaily As hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers protested the closure of the Manus Island processing centre, sparking claims of a humanitarian crisis, Dr Hewson condemned the government for “kicking the issue down the road” rather than working to ... Read More »

Manus refugees: ‘Death is better than this slavery’

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On Tuesday, Australia will close the offshore camp on Manus Island after the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea (PNG) ruled last year that the detention of refugees there was unconstitutional. Yarno Ritzen  Al Jazeera Food, water and electricity will be cut off, leaving more than 600 refugees fearful for their future. Most have lived on Manus for years, after Australia decided it did not want the refugees on its mainland; now, they will be relocated to the PNG town ... Read More »