Refugees

In Australia, One Man Can Decide a Migrant’s Fate. Did He Abuse That Power?

SYDNEY, Australia — When a suicidal 10-year-old boy in an offshore detention camp asked to come to Australia for psychiatric care, Peter Dutton’s answer was no. By Damien Cave and Isabella Kwai The New York Times When an Australian combat veteran requested a refugee visa for his Afghan interpreter, Mr. Dutton — Australia’s top immigration official — also refused. But when an Italian au pair, who worked for a former colleague, needed a reprieve from deportation, Mr. Dutton obliged. It was at least the second ... Read More »

Young and resilient

The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

Nauru blocks transfer of mentally ill refugee to Australia despite Federal Court order

The Government of Nauru has blocked the medical evacuation of a refugee needing urgent treatment for depression and trauma-related conditions, despite court orders stipulating she must be brought to… Exclusive by Emma Younger and Sarah Farnsworth ABC An urgent Federal Court hearing this evening was told the failure to transfer the woman to Australia left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Commonwealth in breach of court orders made on… The court heard Nauru’s secretary for Multicultural Affairs refused to ... Read More »

Refugees in Indonesia don’t want to get on boats. They want basic rights

If they get access to a fair resettlement process, refugees won’t be interested in anything people smugglers are trying to sell Asher Hirsch The Guardian This week, home affairs minister Peter Dutton again reiterated the false claim that “there are 14,000 people in Indonesia waiting to get on to boats now”. I’ve just returned from a research trip in Indonesia, where I spoke to many refugees. Such a claim is not only disingenuous, it also highlights the double standards of ... Read More »

Explainer: why the UN has found Myanmar’s military committed genocide against the Rohingya

The UN Human Rights Council released a new report last Monday, which calls last year’s violence against the Rohingya “genocide”. Anthony Ware The Conversation Released almost exactly a year after the start of devastating violence that drove 671,500 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh within a matter of months, the report found conclusive evidence that Myanmar’s armed… Using the strongest language to date, the report calls for the Myanmar commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and five generals to be prosecuted. What was the ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

Nauru’s asylum seeker tents demolished ahead of Pacific Islands Forum

Sources say move intended to spare visiting leaders the sight of people living in notorious camp Helen Davidson, Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Nauru’s government has moved asylum seekers out of the detention centre and demolished the tents ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum next week. The tents at regional processing centre 3 (RPC-3) were erected five years ago, and at least 100 people have continued to live in them since the facility was deemed “open” in 2015. ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Stalled Transition

Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears stuck amid international condemnation of the Rohingya’s mass displacement and domestic unease about the economy. ICG To nudge Myanmar’s post-junta transition forward, the UN should combine engagement with pressure for accountability for crimes against humanity and eventual refugee return. What’s new?  Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is halfway through its first term, in what was to be a crucial phase in Myanmar’s transition away from authoritarian military rule. Thus far, however, her government is a… ... Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

‘Darkness surrounds me’: Nauru child refugee paints pictures of despair

Medicated, terrified and traumatised, seven-year-old Ahoora has been held for five years on the island. Experts say his drawings reflect a broader, familial deterioration Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Given pens, Ahoora draws. They are not the conventional drawings of a seven-year-old child: he draws pictures of children on fire, of sharks circling small terrified boys, of crying faces behind bars. Seven-year-old Ahoora, a refugee, has spent most of his life on Nauru. He arrived on the island as ... Read More »

Australia’s barbaric policy confronted by Boochani’s prison memoir

Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani has been exiled on Manus Island since August 2013. Arnold Zable The Age He fled Iran in fear of his safety, as a result of his advocacy on behalf of Kurdish people. I was introduced to Boochani in late 2014. His acclaimed book No Friend but the Mountains was published on July 31. Arnold Zable: Behrouz, for years you have been defined as a refugee, and for a time, as a number – MEG 45 – reduced, as ... Read More »

Why the EU can’t outsource its migration crisis

Brussels’ proposal to create processing centers in North Africa creates more problems than it solves. Melanie Ward Politico LONDON — When disagreements over how best to share the responsibility for asylum seekers and migrants in the European Union flared up earlier this summer, EU policymakers reached once again for a familiar proposal. Rather than seek out a compromise over how best to protect people seeking refuge from conflict or persecution, Europe’s leaders agreed to explore creating so-called “regional disembarkation platforms” — centers outside ... Read More »

Nauru hunger strike: Border Force abandons multiple attempts to move child to Australia

Australian Border Force refuses to allow boy, who has refused food for 19 days, to travel with stepfather Ben Doherty The Guardian Efforts to move a 12-year-old refugee boy on hunger strike on Nauru to a hospital in Australia failed at the weekend, after the Australian Border Force refused to allow his stepfather to travel with him. The 12-year-old boy weighs just 36kg and cannot stand up, after more than two weeks refusing food. He is at risk of death within days, ... Read More »

Rohingya refugees remain a heavy burden on Bangladesh

The Rohingya people of Myanmar are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The Myanmar government doesn’t consider them as citizens and deprives them of basic rights such as… Mehdi Chowdhury The Conversation To avoid persecution, waves of Rohingya people have taken refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh in recent decades, with particular flash points in 1978, 1992 and 2012. The latest and largest mass exodus to Bangladesh took place in late August 2017. Within a month, around half a ... Read More »

Bikies infiltrator ‘outed by Australian authorities’ given Canadian refugee status

A man who infiltrated the Bandidos bikie gang has become the first known refugee from Australia after an overseas tribunal found he was abandoned by local authorities who blew his cover. Josh Robertson ABC The ABC can reveal that former outlaw motorcycle gang insider Stevan Utah won the landmark asylum claim in Canada. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) accepted evidence that there were murder contracts placed on Mr Utah’s life after he was recruited by the Australian Crime Commission ... Read More »

Countless refugees have been saved at sea by their life jackets — now a Minnesota startup is selling them as bracelets to spread messages of hope

The striking orange life jackets have protected hundreds of thousands of refugees who have braved the Mediterranean Sea on packed, flimsy boats, seeking safety in Europe. Michelle Mark Business Insider Now, the mountains of used jackets discarded on Greek shores have been repurposed — carefully handcrafted into bracelets and bearing a message of hope imprinted on the wristband: “Building humanity piece by piece.” That’s the idea Mohamed Malim, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and former Somali refugee, wants to share with Americans. ... Read More »