Refugees

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 »

Brexit spurs refugees’ descendants to seek German passports

Britons whose families fled Nazi persecution of Jews look to maintain EU links Tobias Buck Financial Times Brexit has prompted a surge in German citizenship applications by British descendants of Jewish refugees from the Nazis, as part of a broader rush by UK nationals for EU passports. According to official data, such applications have risen almost 40-fold since Britain voted to leave the EU, from just 43 in 2015 to 1,667 last year. In 2016, descendants of refugees made 684 ... Read More »

There’s a solution to the refugee crisis – but no one will like it

The Pacific Solution is septicaemic and threatening the political life of the Coalition Legitimate refugees and failed asylum seekers languish on Manus and Nauru desperately waiting for resettlement. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times The much-vaunted US deal is turning slowly with the anticipated uplift of 1250 refugees failing to reach even half of that target. The level of mental ill-health among both refugees and asylum seekers has reached an appalling state. It’s time to get them off Manus and Nauru. There ... Read More »

Asylum seeker families leave Nauru

Multiple asylum seeker families have left Nauru and flown to Australia for medical treatment as pressure builds on Scott Morrison to get children off the island. Angus Livingston msn aap Refugee advocates confirmed three families left the Pacific nation on Monday, while another three families left on Tuesday, and two more on Wednesday. The prime minister has been under pressure from his own backbench to get asylum seekers off Nauru, as doctors say they are mentally “shattered” after years in ... Read More »

Turkey: Enabling Mass Illegal Migration into Greece

Greece is currently facing a serious surge in undocumented migrant arrivals in the Evros region, an entry point for migrants illegally trying to enter the country from Turkey. Arrivals have roughly doubled since 2017, and… Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute The influx from places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Bangladesh and African countries into Turkey reportedly has been on the rise in recent months, with 1.5 million people from Muslim countries… This has sparked fears in Athens that they could ... Read More »

Australia’s chief medical officer on Nauru deported amid health policy crisis

The chief medical officer contracted by the Australian government to look after the health of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru is being deported from the island. Michael Koziol with Dana McCauley The Sydney Morning Herald Fairfax Media has confirmed with government sources that senior doctor Nicole Montana will be placed on a flight to Australia later on Wednesday and replaced. Other sources suggested Dr Montana was arrested by Nauruan authorities on Tuesday but it was not clear why. In ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

‘I feel like an empty shell’: the patients left behind when MSF had to quit Nauru

MSF says five years of ‘indefinite limbo’ endured by refugees and asylum seekers has led to a radical deterioration in mental health Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian On Thursday Médecins Sans Frontières took a rare step in front of the microphone and publicly criticised the Australian government, demanding an end to its offshore processing policy. Six days earlier its team of mental health workers had been forced by the Nauru government to abruptly stop work and leave the ... Read More »

Inside torture and trauma counselling sessions on Christmas Island

For three years from 2011, social worker Poh Lin Lee worked as a trauma counsellor for the Christmas Island Torture and Trauma Service. RN – By Teresa Tan ABC She offered therapy and support to detained asylum seekers referred from the nearby detention centre, which closed this month. At her lowest, most conflicted moments she wondered who she was providing the care for. “It might be enough for someone to get through the next week or the next day, but for ... Read More »

UN: ‘health crisis’ demands closure of Australia’s offshore detention centres

Government bears responsibility because it designed and paid for the systems in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, says UNHCR Naaman Zhou The Guardian The United Nations has called on Australia to immediately evacuate its offshore detention centres to prevent an unfolding health crisis. Doctors from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were ejected from Nauru on Wednesday and the UN high commissioner for refugees has warned that many asylum seekers who have attempted self-harm or have critical health issues now have no access ... Read More »