Refugees

Mike Pence issues rebuke to Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi over ‘persecution’ of Rohingya Muslims

US Vice President Mike Pence has issued his strongest condemnation yet of Myanmar’s treatment of Rohingya Muslims warning leader Aung San Suu Kyi that “persecution” by her country’s army was “without excuse.” Sophie Williams Evening Standard He met with the Myanmar leader on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific summit in Singapore. While sitting next to the Myanmar leader, he said: “The violence and persecution by military and vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without ... Read More »

Refugee comics: personal stories of forced migration illustrated in a powerful new way

When a work of art called the “The List” was installed in July 2018 at the Liverpool Biennial in the UK, it contained the names of 34,361 refugees and migrants who died crossing the borders of… Emma Parker The Conversation By September, it had been defaced with the words “invaders not refugees”. While local officials condemned the culprits as “fascist thugs”, rhetoric which portrays refugees as nameless “invaders” has been used repeatedly by European leaders and politicians in recent years. ... Read More »

Rohingya gripped by fear as repatriation to Myanmar begins

As a bilateral agreement to return Rohingya refugees to Myanmar is set to take effect, there have been unconfirmed reports of refugees disappearing from camps to avoid a forced return to the… Wesley Rahn DW In October, a UN fact-finding mission said that that an“ongoing genocide” is still taking place in Myanmar against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority group living in the country’s western Rakhine… On November 15, despite warnings from the UN and aid organizations, the final phase of a ... Read More »

Child refugees to return to Nauru

Scott Morrison says child refugees relocated from Nauru to Australia for medical attention will be sent back to the offshore processing centre. Richard Ferguson The Australian The Australian reported earlier this month that the Prime Minister plans to transfer all children off Nauru by the end of the year. Mr Morrison said there are only 30 children on the island now. But he said this morning that those remaining 30 children will be left on the island unless they need medical help ... Read More »

Bangladesh-Myanmar: The Danger of Forced Rohingya Repatriation

Bangladesh and Myanmar have struck a deal for the involuntary repatriation of over 2,000 Rohingya refugees. ICG But the agreement is rushed and threatens stability on both sides of the border. Myanmar and Bangladesh should halt the plan and instead work to create conditions conducive to a safe and dignified return. What’s new?  Bangladesh’s government is preparing to return several thousand Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Under pressure from China, the two countries have agreed to start implementing a repatriation agreement ... Read More »

Almost 300 asylum seekers prevented from sailing to Australia in past year

Exclusive: Documents show international authorities ‘disrupted’ 10 alleged attempts from international ports Helen Davidson The Guardian International authorities, with the assistance of Australia, have “disrupted” at least 10 alleged attempts to transport almost 300 asylum seekers to Australia by boat in the… The documents, from the federal home affairs department, record the number of “foreign law enforcement agency” (FLEA) disruptions since 2013. FLEA disruptions were set up as one of three components of the Abbott government’s border policy – alongside boat ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside flips support for Wynne to Greens

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has lost a high profile supporter as he battles to defend his inner city seat of Richmond from the Greens at the state election. Noel Towell The Age Barrister and asylum seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC, a long-time supporter of Mr Wynne, has defected to the Greens and written to Richmond residents calling on them to vote for the party’s challenger in the seat Kathleen Maltzahn. Mr Burnside will not be voting for either candidate in Richmond, ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

‘I don’t have dreams’: my pen pal on Manus Island

I sent a letter to a refugee and five years later he found me on Facebook Five years ago I wrote someone I didn’t know a letter. It was a bit awkward. Sophie Trevvit, with Mustafa Golem The Guardian I didn’t know what to say. I described my family. I said I was studying law at university. I wrote that I thought what our government was doing to refugees was wrong. I included my address so the someone I was ... Read More »

Greek islanders to receive inaugural John McCain Prize for refugee crisis response

The people of the Greek island of Lesvos are poised to receive the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service for their response to the refugee crisis, Politico has reported. ekathimerini According to its daily briefing, the American news site said that the announcement was made by Cindy McCain, the widow of the respected US statesman who died on August 25. The award will reportedly be bestowed on the residents of the Aegean island that has been on ... Read More »

All asylum seeker children to leave Nauru: Brandis

London: George Brandis has confirmed the Australian government is aiming to have all child asylum seekers off Nauru by the end of the year, after being grilled on an influential London radio station about Australia’s… Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald The former Attorney-General, now Australia’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, brushed aside repeated questions during his interview with Shelagh Fogarty on talkback station LBC and said… On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were 50 children left on the ... Read More »

Religion and refugees are deeply entwined in the US

Robert Bowers lashed out at what he believed to be a Jewish plot to bring more refugees and asylum seekers to the U.S. before allegedly murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stephanie J. Nawyn The Conversation Bowers’s claim that HIAS, a prominent Jewish humanitarian organization, was bringing migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala northward to commit violence was false. But it is true that many religious communities in the U.S., including American Jews, have long supported refugees and asylum-seeking migrants who ... Read More »

Thousands of Syrians stuck in the Rukban camp risk starvation

Tens of thousands of Syrians stranded in a desert camp near the Jordanian border are at risk of starvation amid dwindling supplies and the approach of winter, while regional powers trade blame over who… BEIRUT – The Associated Press Hurriyet Desperately needed aid deliveries to the besieged Rukban camp have repeatedly failed or been postponed, including a U.N. convoy which was supposed to go in on Oct. 25 but has now been… The camp is home to around 45,000 people, many of them women and children, who ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

Migrant caravan members have right to claim asylum – here’s why getting it will be hard

Roughly 5,000 people, mostly from Central America’s violent and unstable “Northern Triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are reportedly making their way through Mexico with the intention of claiming asylum at the U.S. border. Abigail Stepnitz The Conversation The so-called “migrant caravan” is attracting intense social and political attention, with U.S. President Donald Trump declaring it a “national emergency.” He has also claimed, erroneously, that the migrants “have to” claim asylum in Mexico first. Migrants aren’t obligated to claim asylum in ... Read More »