Refugees

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

In Manus, theatre delivers home truths that can’t be dodged

How to review a play whose relationship with matters of fact is so serious and politically culpable it overwhelms the critical distinctions that might normally be used to judge it? Julian Meyrick The Conversation Where is Stanislavski’s “magic if” (if I were a refugee locked up for six years by the Australian government …)? What are the “given circumstances” (near-drowning at sea, a sun-beaten island at the end of the earth)? Or the “inciting incident” (political oppression, military destruction, despair ... Read More »

‘Give them a chance’: employing refugees not as complicated as many think

New guide outlines the benefits of hiring a refugee, including documented high loyalty and lower turnover rates Helen Davidson The Guardian Armed with two masters degrees and substantial work experience, Sarah* didn’t expect it would be so difficult to find work in Australia. Forced to abandon a PhD when she fled her home country, Sarah arrived in Australia hoping to find similar work to the senior project officer role she’d left. But she got few interviews, apart from an experience ... Read More »

Which countries have the most immigrants?

The proportion of immigrants varies considerably from one country to another. Gilles Pison The Conversation In some, it exceeds half the population, while in others it is below 0.1%. Which countries have the most immigrants? Where do they come from? How are they distributed across the world? We provide here an overview of the number and share of immigrants in different countries around the world. According to the United Nations, the United States has the highest number of immigrants (foreign-born ... Read More »

Greens propose private sponsorship program for new refugees

Private citizens could sponsor up to 10,000 new refugees each year, under a Greens plan. The Greens have proposed establishing a program where Australians can sponsor individual refugees, taking in an additional 10,000 people per year who have been displaced around the world. Nick Baker SBS Based on a Canadian model, the program would allow private citizens to provide financial support and settlement assistance for one year after arrival, or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient. The initiative was one of ... Read More »

As EU stresses the migration ‘crisis’ is over, Italy makes hundreds of migrants homeless

Refuting what he called populist “misinformation”, the first vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, has stressed that: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.” Vicki Squire The Conversation The commission emphasises that the current level of arrivals is just 10% of what it was at its “peak” in 2015. But these comments overlook the fact that the so-called “crisis” of 2015 was defined as one on the basis of a series of myths ... Read More »

Michelle Bachelet has urged Australia to adopt “more humane policies” towards refugees.

The United Nations’ leading voice on human rights has criticised Australia’s refugee policies, specifically condemning plans to reopen Christmas Island detention centre. SBS UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet used an address on Wednesday to highlight rights abuses around the world, with Australia making the list. “The office has raised concern with Australia about the imminent transfer of migrants on Manus Island and Nauru to new detention centres,” the… “These people have been suffering for more than… Michelle ... Read More »

The sounds of Speechless, where words are superfluous

Speechless is the new opera by award-winning composer Cat Hope, co-commissioned by the Perth Festival and Tura New Music. Stephen Chinna The Conversation This is Hope’s powerful response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 report into children in immigration detention. Hope created what she describes as a “graphic score” derived from drawings and graphics extracted from the Report. This system of “animated graphic notation” is explained by Tura as “the representation of music through the use of visual symbols ... Read More »

How the next Australian government can balance security and compassion for asylum seekers

This is part of a major series called Advancing Australia, in which leading academics examine the key issues facing Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election and beyond. Read the other pieces in the series here. Alex Reilly The Conversation With a rapidly changing climate and increased instability in the world order, patterns of people movement are likely to change dramatically in the future. It is not a tenable response to isolate Australia from the… Sadly, the politicisation ... Read More »

‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border

MCALLEN, Tex. — It was dark in the stash house where they kept her, the windows covered so no one could see inside. Manny Fernandez The New York Times At first, the smugglers had her cook for the other migrants who had recently crossed illegally into the United States. Then they took her to a room upstairs, locked the door and began taking turns with her. It was the summer of 2014, and Melvin, a 36-year-old mother of three, had ... Read More »

Deported parents who were sent back to Central America while their children remained in the U.S. trek to the border and demand to be reunited

Central American migrant parents deported by the US are demanding asylum They are asking American authorities to allow them to rejoin their children Some of the parents have not seen their children for a year By Ariel Zilber For Dailymail.com and Agencies Daily Mail Central American migrant parents deported by the United States are demanding asylum and to be reunited with the children from whom they were separated. The parents who were forcibly sent back to Central America after illegally ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

Lessons from the Syrian State’s Return to the South

Russian mediation helped reduce bloodshed during the Assad regime’s reconquest of southern Syria. ICG But for similar arrangements to work in remaining rebel strongholds, better security guarantees by outside powers are needed to prevent regime reprisals, improve aid flows and, down the road, facilitate refugee return. What’s new? When the Syrian regime retook the south from rebels in mid-2018, Russian mediation limited the violence. Six months later, security and living conditions remain precarious; the regime has re-established authoritarian rule; and ... Read More »

The sharks are circling ahead of the election — and it’s asylum seeker policy in the ‘chum bucket’

In full parliamentary flight this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison raged at Labor that it had “gone to the bottom of the chum bucket” when it started its probing of… Laura Tingle ABC Chum buckets, for anyone not familiar with the term, are buckets full of fish guts and heads and other smelly stuff that is thrown into the water by fishermen to attract a feeding frenzy of fish, particularly… And there was some truth to what the Prime Minister ... Read More »

Work ban forces asylum seekers into destitution – but we now have a chance to change this policy

One of the ugly realities of the British asylum system lies in the work ban placed on people awaiting a decision on their asylum claim. Alex Powell The Conversation The ban on working often forces people to rely on friends and family, or, worse, into destitution. This restriction is often justified by the mistaken notion that it will limit the number of people claiming asylum in the UK. Following a sustained campaign, and two private members bills spearheaded by Labour ... Read More »

New Zealand says refugee deal still on table as PM Morrison arrives for visit

New Zealand says an offer to resettle refugees from Nauru or Manus Island is still on the table, dismissing a report it won’t accept single male asylum seekers. AAP – SBS New Zealand has dismissed reports it refused to resettle single male asylum seekers in Australian offshore processing. Since 2013, New Zealand’s government has publicly offered to settle at least 150 refugees being held on Nauru or Manus Island, but has been rebuffed by successive Australian prime ministers, despite a ... Read More »