Migration

Julie Bishop didn’t raise Manus Island refugee issue says Winston Peters

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Reports that the Government’s position on Manus Island refugees strained New Zealand’s relationship with Australia were “misinterpretations”, Parliament has been told. tvnz Facing opposition questions today, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop didn’t raise the issue when they met. National’s foreign affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee asked him whether he had seen any reports suggesting the Government was causing strain in the relationship with Australia because of its position on the refugees. “If by reports the… Julie ... Read More »

Foreign parliaments are not powerless to help the Rohingya – their pressure on Myanmar is vital

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As the pope made a high profile visit to Myanmar in late November, attention turned to how to help the thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled their homes to Bangladesh following violence and what UN officials have described as ethnic cleansing. Wessel Vermeulen Andreja Pegan  A deal struck between the two countries to start returning the refugees, has been criticised for going against international refugee law. The Conversation Western politicians have also travelled to Myanmar and Bangladesh to witness ... Read More »

In Times Of Crisis We Must Work Especially Hard To Protect Women And Girls

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Violence against women and girls anywhere and at any time is not acceptable Julie Bishop In conflicts and crises across the world, women and girls can suffer terrible abuses HuffPost The UN estimates that seven in 10 women are exposed to violence in crises The risk of abuse increases when they flee without the family or community networks that would normally support them, leaving them vulnerable to trafficking or assault. The trauma of such experiences cannot be overstated, severely affecting ... Read More »

‘Horrified’ Rwanda offers to host African migrants facing slavery in Libya

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In an unusual gesture that could partly reverse a more familiar northward odyssey toward Europe, Rwanda offered on Thursday to house or help repatriate some of the thousands of African migrants being held in Libya and reportedly auctioned there as… Alan Cowell New York Times The Sydney Morning Herald  A statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry said Rwanda was “horrified” that “African men, women and children who were on the road to exile have been held and turned into… “Given ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “NZ a moral superpower on Manus”

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There’s been a plea to refocus attention on the ethics at the heart of the Manus Island refugee crisis Newstalk ZB Staff , Audio Australia’s immigration minister has confirmed the refugees have all left the Papua New Guinea detention centre, after police moved in yesterday to clear them out Australian civil liberties lawyer Julian Burnside, QC, told Larry Williams New Zealand is the moral super power in our part of the world. He’s suggesting we look to history, to gain clarity ... Read More »

Myanmar and Bangladesh strike a shameful deal on Rohingya refugees

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Many Rohingya people who have fled the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are now living as refugees in Bangladesh Rosa Freedman The Conversation And now, the two countries have reportedly struck a deal to return them home. Returning Rohingya people to the hands of their persecutors not only violates international law, but raises fundamental questions about how the world protects those fleeing the most heinous crimes and abuses. This deal comes just days after Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment ... Read More »

Boochani arrest is an attack on press freedom

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MEAA, the union for Australian media workers, stands in solidarity with Iranian-Kurdish journalist and regular contributor to Australian publications, Behrouz Boochani, who has reportedly been arrested today on Manus Island. MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said Boochani appeared to have been deliberately targeted by Papua New Guinea police in today’s crackdown because of his high-profile as a journalist reporting from inside the detention centre. “Behrouz has been one of the main sources of factual information about conditions inside the Manus ... Read More »

How spending time in city parks helps asylum seekers to feel at home

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Across Europe, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers are currently waiting for a decision on their refugee status Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek Clare Rishbeth  Unable to legally work or study, and with very limited funds, many of them feel as though they’re in a state of limbo; like their lives have been put on hold. The Conversation With shrinking public sector funding, there are even fewer resources available to help asylum seekers in this position. But now, new research shows that urban parks ... Read More »

‘I cannot leave my neighbour hungry’: support for refugees from priest and major on Manus

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Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh are defying both the PNG and Australian governments Ben Doherty The Guardian Τhe major and the father seek salvation for the refugees of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Two Manusian men – Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh – are defying the PNG and Australian governments in calling for assistance for the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus, and for a peaceable solution to the ... Read More »

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 »

Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration

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Please excuse this column. Its subject is rather like a noisy fart at a wedding. It’s unwanted, unwelcome and leaves a nasty stench in the air, and that’s why it’s not normally talked about in polite company. Nicholas Stuart Which is exactly the point. Brisbane Times It’s time to discuss seriously the one issue that’s threatening, more than any other, to tear the country apart: immigration. Queensland election 2017: two nations, divided by immigration In Queensland, however, the conspiracy of ... Read More »

Fintan O’Toole: Brexit means we are bordering on the absurd

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The UK’s move may result in a return to the pointless rituals of inspection at the Border Fintan O’Toole In 1962, the Ulster poet John Hewitt published a short poem called The Frontier. The Irish Times It is ostensibly about crossing the Alps between France and Switzerland but, of course, not really. Hewitt’s reflection on the absurdity of border-crossings is inevitably resonant of more insular experiences. The train he is on stops and “small men in uniform drift down the corridor, thumb ... 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 »