Asylum Seekers

Nauru doctor wins global free speech award for speaking out on offshore immigration

Nick Martin’s medical attention and advocacy saw asylum seekers transferred to Australia for treatment, but ultimately cost him his job Ben Doherty The Guardian A doctor on Nauru who blew the whistle on the deliberate medical neglect of refugees and asylum seekers on the island has been awarded a global award for free speech. Dr Nick Martin, the former senior medical officer for International Health and Medical Services on Nauru, spoke out publicly against what he described as Australia’s “inflexible, unswerving, and shameless” ... Read More »

Rahaf al Qunun pledges to use her freedom to campaign for others after being granted asylum in Canada

In a week, Rahaf al Qunun has gone from being barricaded inside a Bangkok airport hotel room to being the most recognised refugee on the planet. Sophie McNeill ABC After landing in Toronto on Saturday, she has spent the last 48 hours trying to come to terms with the incredible events of the past week. The 18-year-old fled her Saudi family while visiting Kuwait, before flying to Bangkok on January 5. She had a valid visa to Australia, but was… ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Are women escaping family violence overseas considered refugees?

Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s story has travelled around the world this week, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s repressive treatment of women and that not only those who seek asylum by… Tamara Wood The Conversation For now, al-Qunun remains in Thailand, and it’s been reported the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has deemed her to be a refugee. Australia has said it will consider granting her asylum. Reports say al-Qunun fears, if she is returned to Saudi Arabia, she will be abused and ... Read More »

Rohingya left in border limbo amid new Myanmar border clashes

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar since a military crackdown started in 2017, desperate to escape persecution. AFP – SBS Panic is gripping thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees living in no-man’s land on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border, with daily clashes between Myanmar security forces and ethnic Rakhine insurgents. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar since a military crackdown started in 2017 – most to sprawling refugee camps in Bangladesh – but many have been living in ... Read More »

Why the UK should stay within the EU’s asylum system after Brexit

Until recent media coverage of an increase in people crossing the English Channel by boat, Brexit debates have largely overlooked the future of asylum and international protection after the… Ali Bilgic The Conversation The UK’s options are challenging – and the risks for current and future asylum seekers are real and serious, particularly if the UK were to leave without a deal. Complications will stem from the UK’s involvement in the EU’s international protection and asylum governance structures, known as ... Read More »

Thai court rejects bid to block deportation of Saudi woman

A Thai court Monday rejected an attempt to block the deportation of a Saudi woman who made a desperate plea for asylum, saying she feared for her life after escaping an abusive family. BANGKOK – AFP Hurriyet Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun told AFP she ran away from her family while travelling in Kuwait because they subjected her to physical and psychological abuse. The 18-year-old said she had planned to travel to Australia and seek asylum there, and feared she would be killed if ... Read More »

Malala’s new book brings voices of world’s displaced to the fore

As we ascend the lift in the Melbourne hotel where Malala Yousafzai is staying, we have a stowaway on board. Miki Perkins The Sydney Morning Herald Ten-year-old Dante Ascui is a capable assistant to his father, Age photographer Luis Ascui, carrying the tripod as we emerge into a large room with a view of the Yarra River. But for Dante, today is not about work. When his dad discovered his first booking of the day was to photograph Yousafzai, he doubled back ... Read More »

Malta opens waters to German NGO rescue boats beset by seasickness closer to shore

Berlin-based Sea-Watch said conditions on the boats had become dangerous, with migrants suffering from severe sea-sickness and post-traumatic stress disorder. The vessels were denied access to ports in Malta and… DW German migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 sent a desperate plea on Wednesday for a harbor to dock. Conditions aboard the ship have worsened, after 12 days at sea and bad weather conditions on the Mediterranean, Sea-Watch said in a… The Berlin-based NGO vessel rescued 32 migrants on December 22, ... Read More »

Politicians could ease refugee suffering, but instead they stoke fear

Don’t be fooled by talk of a ‘major incident’ on Channel crossings – the real crisis is refugees risking their lives but shut out of Fortress Europe Diane Taylor The Guardian The “major incident” is well and truly under way. Sajid Javid has signalled just how seriously he is taking the recent spike in refugee crossings across the Channel by interrupting his holiday to deal with the crisis. All manner of plans are now being devised to shore up our borders. Around 100 people ... Read More »

‘Blood on their hands’: Border Force slammed after second employee suicide

Former colleagues of an Australian Border Force officer who took his life say he was deeply distressed by his treatment at work and his superiors have “blood on their hands”, in the second suicide linked to the… Nicole Hasham The Canberra Times Border Force commissioner Michael Outram says bullying and other unacceptable behaviour is not tolerated in the organisation, an arm of the Department of Home Affairs created in 2015 when customs, immigration and… However this publication has been contacted ... Read More »

Matteo Salvini: Italian ports closed to migrants

Two charities sought permission to drop off people rescued off the Libyan coast. By THIBAULT LARGER Politico Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday reiterated his stance that migrant vessels are not welcome at the country’s ports, following requests from NGOs to allow two rescue ships to dock. “Italian ports are CLOSED,” the right-wing leader tweeted in one of a series of posts on social media. “The traffickers of men and their accomplices know that our ports are closed, STOP!” he said. Two ... Read More »

New Zealand backs UN migration deal as Australia says no

While the UN Compact on Migration was adopted by 164 governments, New Zealand has been mulling its options amid lobbying from across the political spectrum. Source AAP – SBS New Zealand won’t be joining Australia in refusing to sign a non-binding United Nations migration agreement and has called claims the deal would undermine its national sovereignty “falsehoods”. The Morrison government last month said it would not be signing the UN Global Compact on Migration, despite having been actively negotiating the wording ... Read More »

Hours before her collapse in U.S. custody, a dying migrant child’s condition went unnoticed

Twenty-seven hours before she died at an El Paso children’s hospital, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal walked across the U.S. border with her father and 161 other migrants outside Antelope Wells, N.M. Nick Miroff * The Washington Post It was 9:15 p.m. on Dec. 6, and the small, remote U.S. border crossing was closed for the night. There were four Border Patrol agents on duty, and no medical staff. The migrants skirted barriers and crossed into the United States. Like most Central American asylum ... Read More »

‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

When asylum seekers looked to an affluent Australia for hope, it was disappointing to see some were treated with “hatred” and weren’t even allowed to set foot on its shores, said activist Malala Yousafzai. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Yet when the Taliban came for Ms Yousafzai’s family in Pakistan, her family was given sanctuary by friends, family, strangers, true to the country’s culture of welcoming those in need. The 21-year-old activist – who in 2014 became the youngest ... Read More »

‘Outrageous’: Australia notified Thailand about refugee footballer’s travel plans

Jakarta: Hakeem al-Araibi was detained in Bangkok after the Australian government informed their Thai counterparts the refugee footballer was travelling to Thailand and subject to an Interpol Red Notice. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald On Wednesday, the Department of Home Affairs attempted to distance itself from Araibi’s detention, arguing that “any action taken in response to the Interpol Red Notice is a matter for Thai authorities”. But Human Rights groups were sharply critical of Australian authorities’ decision to notify ... Read More »