Refugees

Blood, soil and paper: Thailand’s mission to reduce statelessness

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Last month’s epic rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a cave in northern Thailand gripped the world. Janepicha Cheva-Isarakul The Conversation When it emerged that some of the boys are stateless, the news headlines changed in subtle ways from “Thai boys in the cave” to “boys in Thai cave”. Amid the widespread joy over the successful operation, the rescue has drawn attention to the broader issue of statelessness in Thailand. My research into the lives of stateless youth ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island and the book written one text at a time

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The Kurdish Iranian writer’s book was sent largely via messaging services such as Whatsapp over almost five years Helen Davidson The Guardian A Kurdish Iranian writer sought refuge in Australia but was instead sent to the country’s notorious offshore detention centre. For the next five years he wrote a book, one text message at a time. Behrouz Boochani became a well known and award-winning voice from Papua New Guinea’s remote Manus Island, acting as a source for journalists in Australia ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

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Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

Sri Lankan asylum seekers are being deported from Australia despite fears of torture

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Earlier last month, Thileepan Gnaneswaran was separated from his wife and 11-month-old baby and deported from Australia back to Sri Lanka, the country from which he had fled six years ago. Kirsty Anantharajah The Conversation On his arrival in Colombo, he was taken into custody and questioned by Sri Lankan police. He’s since been released, but the ordeal was no doubt a traumatic experience, given his claims of being interrogated and tortured by Sri Lankan security forces during the country’s ... Read More »

Stuck in Lebanon: a Syrian refugee family’s life in limbo

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I don’t remember exactly how Reham and I came to meet on Facebook but I do recall how articulate she was, her love for her younger sister Fatima and her quiet desperation for a new life. Heaven Crawley The Conversation Reham is just nine years old, a Syrian refugee living in a small town in the north of Lebanon with her parents and three siblings, the youngest of whom is just eight months old. Her father Abdul told me that ... Read More »

Asylum seeker should be alive: Qld coroner

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Australia must do more to care for asylum seekers held offshore after an Iranian man died in entirely preventable circumstances, Queensland’s state coroner says. Christine Flatley Yahoo7 AAP Terry Ryan found 24-year-old Hamid Khazaei would be alive if he’d received proper medical care after developing a leg inflection at the Australian-run detention centre on Manus Island. But he died in a Brisbane hospital in September 2014, two weeks after seeking help at the centre’s medical clinic, which didn’t even have ... Read More »

Go ahead, white Australia, eat your kebabs while you remind us of your ‘values’

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When I think about white fragility and its moral pretensions I marvel at the great hoax of it all Randa Abdel-Fattah The Guardian I know who I am. Most racialised people do. History matters to us. We know that the answers to who we are as a nation lie in a story that did not start with the last election or 9/11 or Tampa or deaths in custody or the stolen generations. We know that if we were to approach the ... Read More »

A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Sexually Abused in an Immigrant-Detention Center

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Separated from her mother by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, the child was forced to sign a statement confirming that she understood it was her responsibility to stay away from her abuser. Ari Honarvar The Nation According to immigrant-rights advocates, a 6-year-old girl separated from her mother under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy was sexually abused while at an… The child was then made to sign a form acknowledging that she was told to maintain her distance from her alleged abuser, ... Read More »

Swedish student prevents deportation of Afghan asylum seeker by refusing to sit down on flight

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Live stream of Elin Ersson’s dramatic protest shows how she stands her ground against flight crew and fellow passengers, before her efforts are finally applauded in emotional scenes Adam Withnall Independent A student activist in Sweden single-handedly prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan, by refusing to sit down on the plane that was due to take him out of the country. Elin Ersson started live-streaming her dramatic protest after flight attendants demanded she sit down for departure and tried to take away ... Read More »

Justice for the next Generation? The Collapse of Values.

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I was honoured to be invited to give the 2018 Hobart Oration. Julian Burnside It is sponsored by the Bob Brown Foundation. Here is what I said. Hobart Oration 23 July 2018:  Justice for the next Generation?  The Collapse of Values. The two great issues our generation is leaving the next are climate change and the treatment of refugees. Climate change I have no hesitation in saying that climate change is the number one issue today: refugees are a second-order issue, ... Read More »

Toronto’s FCJ Refugee Centre Allows Asylum Seekers To Share Their Stories

Hunaina, a Somali-Kenyan refugee who came to Canada with her sister and two younger brothers, is pictured at the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto on Tuesday July 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

“I want the politicians to know one thing: I can do great things.” Liam Casey Canadian Press HuffPost TORONTO — Inside a large brick home in midtown Toronto, people pore over documents needed to file refugee claims, discuss the legal aid system, and work through the challenges of finding housing. The FCJ Refugee Centre is a place where those who’ve been accepted as refugees help others seeking asylum deal with all sorts of practical issues. It’s also an environment where ... Read More »

U.N. pact offers hope to world’s climate migrants

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The United Nations agreed to draw up a migration pact to cope with the millions of migrants moving from country to country. Now campaigners want nations to follow up with concrete… Lin Taylor Thomson Reuters Foundation LONDON, July 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Be it by flood, drought or hurricane, communities at risk of climate displacement have won vital protection after their plight was for the first time recognised in a… The United Nations agreed last Friday to draw up ... Read More »

What is happening on Nauru should shock the conscience of every Australian

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It is important that we all know the truth of what our government is doing to innocent people Julian Burnside The Guardian In the middle of 2016 Guardian Australia published the Nauru files: more than 2,000 incident reports recording things that had happened in Australia’s refugee gulag on Nauru. The incident reports – made by people directly or indirectly employed by the Australian government – contained reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. They gave an insight into the ... Read More »

Why attorneys represent immigrants for free

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Scores of lawyers, paralegals and law students are volunteering to help immigrant families caught in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s bid to drastically reduce the number of people without papers in the U.S. Eduardo Capulong The Conversation One of these movement’s highest priorities is assisting the more than 2,500 children separated from their parents in government custody. Mobilized by the American Bar Association, nonprofits like Lawyers for Good Government, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Lawyers ... Read More »

Wife’s despair as asylum seeker deported by Australia is arrested in Sri Lanka

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Karthika Gnaneswaran says she and her 10-month-old daughter have been devastated by Thileepan’s removal Ben Doherty The Guardian The wife of deported Tamil asylum seeker Thileepan Gnaneswaran says she is devastated by her husband’s forced removal from Australia and arrest in Sri Lanka, and says her baby daughter faces a future where she might never see her father again. “We are all so depressed; my daughter is very upset, she misses her father,” Karthika Gnaneswaran told the Guardian. “My husband is ... Read More »

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker, separating him from baby daughter

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Thileepan faces permanent separation from his wife and child, who have been granted safe haven visas Ben Doherty The Guardian A 30-year-old Tamil asylum seeker faces permanent separation from his wife and 10-month-old Australian-born daughter, after being deported more than six years after arriving in Australia. Thileepan (like many Tamils he only uses one name) had been in Australia since arriving by boat in June 2012. He lived in the community for most of his time in Australia, marrying in ... Read More »