Migration

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 »

‘My own son cannot get a job now’: Sydney’s Sudanese hit by Melbourne ‘ripple effect’

As Melbourne’s Sudanese community fought to defend itself this year from blanket accusations of gang violence, the ripple effect was felt hundred of kilometres away in the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown. Lisa Visentin The Sydney Morning Herald Victoria Kisanga, who arrived in Blacktown 17 years ago after fleeing Sudan’s civil war, said securing employment had become increasingly difficult for Sydney’s South Sudanese refugees in the wake of the intense media and political scrutiny of… “My own son cannot get a job ... Read More »

Denmark Plans to Isolate Unwanted Migrants on a Small Island

COPENHAGEN — Denmark plans to house the country’s most unwelcome foreigners in a most unwelcoming place: a tiny, hard-to-reach island that now holds the laboratories, stables and crematory of a center for researching contagious animal diseases. Martin Selsoe Sorensen The New York Times As if to make the message clearer, one of the two ferries that serve the island is called the Virus. “They are unwanted in Denmark, and they will feel that,” the immigration minister, Inger Stojberg, wrote on ... Read More »

Nauru mental health situation equivalent to ‘victims of torture’, Medecins Sans Frontieres says

The mental health situation on Nauru is equivalent to that of victims of torture, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says, in what it describes as the first independent medical data on mental health conditions on the… AM – By Lexi Metherell ABC MSF treated 208 asylum seekers and refugees in the 11 months its medical staff were on Nauru, until they were expelled by that nation’s Government in October. In a report compiled on the mental health condition of the asylum seekers, refugees and ... Read More »

Under far-right pressure, Europe retreats from UN migration pact

Populists seize chance to put favorite issue on agenda ahead of EU vote, causing ructions among governments. Eline Schaart Politico A previously obscure 34-page, jargon-filled document is causing political convulsions across Europe — even though it’s not even legally binding.   Italy this week became the latest in a string of European countries to say it would not sign the U.N.’s Global Compact on Migration at a ceremony in Marrakech in just under two weeks. From the Netherlands through Belgium and Germany ... Read More »

As Italy’s first black minister, I suffered vile racist abuse. But this poison damages us all

Respect for human rights is at the heart of the EU’s ethos. Together, we need to fight all forms of discrimination Cécile Kyenge The Guardian Racial discrimination is now “commonplace” across 12 European countries, and one in three people of African descent has experienced harassment in the past five years, a report this weekfound. This doesn’t surprise me. Since my election to the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 2013, I have constantly faced racist abuse. When I became Italy’s minister for ... 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 »

Pauline Hanson praises immigration policy of pre-Neolithic tribe who killed American missionary

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has voiced support for the “strict zero-gross immigration policy” of the inhabitants of the North Sentinel Islands, who killed an American missionary with bows and arrows. ABC Senator Hanson lodged notice of a formal motion, which was denied by the Senate, calling for it to “support the desire of the Sentinelese people to protect their culture and way of life”. Thought to be the last remaining pre-Neolithic tribe, the Sentinelese people are known to attack ... Read More »

Twelve charts on race and racism in Australia

Australia’s population is growing fast, ticking over 25 million in August 2018. And as the population increases, it is also becoming more diverse. Emil Jeyaratnam The Conversation At the time of the 2016 Census, Australia’s population comprised people from more than 250 countries and 300 different ancestries. Almost half the population were either first- or second-generation Australian, and more than 300 different languages were spoken in homes. Ancestry The ten most commonly reported ancestries in 2016… But we are still ... Read More »

Asylum seeker student’s university dreams revived after offers flood in

A top year 12 graduate who feared she would never get to attend university because of her asylum seeker status says her dreams are now a reality after being inundated with offers of help and support. By Lily Nothling and Dea Clark ABC Soumi Gopalakrishnan, 19, was the dux of her inner-city Brisbane school who dreamed of becoming a doctor. But as a Sri Lankan Tamil who fled her home country with her family four years ago, her prospects of ... 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 »

Why Canada’s immigration system has been a success, and what Australia can learn from it

Immigration policy will be a critical issue in forthcoming state (Victoria, NSW) and federal elections. Jock Collins The Conversation The disproportionate impact of immigration on population growth and public infrastructure in Sydney and Melbourne is the key issue. If we look to the example of another immigrant-friendly country, Canada, however, we can see how giving states and territories a greater role in immigration target setting and selection can help take the pressure off major cities without drastically… Immigration certainly impacts ... Read More »