Migration

Aziz spread his wings and escaped Manus Island: he wants more to follow

Geneva: A week ago Abdul Aziz Muhamat allowed himself a couple of hours off. He grabbed some takeaway and climbed up a hill overlooking his new home, Geneva, and spread his arms wide. Nick Miller The Age “That was the moment,” he says. “I’ve been working tirelessly, non-stop for six years, and I feel like I’m burning inside out, and let me just take two hours of my time just to enjoy the meaning of freedom. “So I went to the ... Read More »

Italy passes law to fine people who rescue refugees at sea

Repeat offenders risk having boats seized Italy has passed a law to fine any boat rescuing refugees from sea up to €50,000 (£44,000), despite hundreds having died en route this year. Samuel Osborne Independent Those who repeatedly violate the law risk having their boats seized. The regulation also allows undercover police investigations of possible trafficking operations and approves electronic eavesdropping on suspected people smugglers. “I think we have approved a step forward for the security of this country,” said Matteo Salvini, Italy’s ... Read More »

Australia’s refugee policy is out of step with global standards and breaks international law: report

A world-leading research centre on refugee law says no one thought about how offshore detention of refugees and asylum seekers would end when it was introduced almost 20 years ago. Maani Truu SBS Now, a plan has been released to pave the way towards a more sustainable and humane future. The government needs to take several steps to bring Australia’s refugee policy in line with other countries around the world and to comply with its international obligations, a… The University ... Read More »

Jurors refuse to convict activist facing 20 years for helping migrants

Jury could not reach a verdict against Scott Daniel Warren who was arrested in 2018 for giving migrants water, food and lodging Associated Press The Guardian A US jury could not reach a verdict on Tuesday against a border activist who, defense attorneys say, was simply being kind by providing two migrants with water, food and lodging when he was arrested in early 2018. Scott Daniel Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor, was charged with conspiracy to transport and harbor ... Read More »

A growing source of Canadian asylum-seekers: US citizens whose parents were born elsewhere

Jokes about moving to Canada became common among progressives in the United States during Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Sean Rehaag The Conversation When he won, a spike in U.S. citizens seeking information about how to relocate crashed Canada’s immigration website. I’m a scholar of Canadian immigration law and will soon become the director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in Toronto. My friends and colleagues in the United States, who still make those jokes, are often surprised ... Read More »

At least 30 Venezuelan migrants missing after boat sinks: Lawmaker

Venezuelan migrants are missing after the speedboat they were traveling in sank on its way to Curacao, an opposition lawmaker said on June 11. CARACAS-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The vessel left from a village in the northwest on June 7 with 30 to 35 people on board, deputy Luis Stefanelli told AFP, quoting family members. “No one has been in touch with their families, which makes us fear the worst,” said Stefanelli.    Authorities have not commented on the report. The body of a ... Read More »

Australia’s asylum seeker policy history: a story of blunders and shame

We know very little about the kind of government Scott Morrison runs. Carolyn Holbrook The Conversation After beating Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop to the prime ministership in August last year, most commentators assumed Morrison was keeping the chair warm until Labor’s Bill Shorten won the 2019 election. Following the Coalition’s unexpected victory, it’s time to ask more searching questions, not only about Scott Morrison’s political values and policy aspirations, but about his prime ministerial style. Recent history suggests processes ... Read More »

Refugee sets fire to himself on Manus Island

A man has set himself on fire on Manus Island, the latest in more than 70 self-harm or suicide attempts at the former detention centre, sources say. AAP – SBS A refugee on Manus Island has set himself on fire, marking the latest in a rapidly rising number of suicide and self-harm attempts at the former site of the Australian-run detention centre. The Somalian man, aged about 30, set himself on fire while in the East Lorengau camp on Monday, ... Read More »

US, Mexico sign agreement to slow immigration, avoid tariffs

President Donald Trump had threatened tariffs on all Mexican imports unless Mexico acted to slow illegal migration into the US. A new deal means they have avoided the threat, he announced. Deutsche Welle The United States and Mexico have signed an agreement to tackle illegal migration across their border, US President Donald Trump announced on Friday. In May, Trump unexpectedly announced a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports unless Mexico took decisive action to tackle border issues. “I am pleased to inform you that ... Read More »

How to Wear a Kippah in Germany

A government official’s warning that Jews in traditional dress might not be safe has sparked a new debate about how to protect the community. Noah Gordon Berlin Observer Berlin Policy Journal Is it unsafe for Jewish men to wear the traditional kippah (or yarmulke) cap in public in modern Germany? Or should Germans of all religions wear it proudly, as a sign of solidarity? The fact that the German government official tasked with combating anti-Semitism represented both positions within a ... Read More »

EU increases Schengen visa fee to €80

The European Union passed a regulation on June 6 on the visa code regulation to improve conditions for legitimate travelers, as well as increase the tools available to respond to the… Ankara Hurriyet The new regulation includes allowing for applications to be lodged up to 6 months, and no later than 15 days, before the trip, providing for the possibility of the application form to be filled in and… The regulation also increased the costs of visa processing from €60 ... Read More »

UK has updated the way it measures integration – now it’s everybody’s job to make refugees welcome

With the number of displaced people in the world at record levels and a growing global focus on the integration of refugees into new communities, the UK government has decided to update a… Jenny Phillimore The Conversation The Home Office’s new Indicators of Integration, which I helped to design as part of a small team of academics and researchers after a wide-ranging consultation, are intended to be a tool to help national and… It’s currently unclear how well refugees are ... Read More »

A blind refugee has been held in Australian detention for nine years

The United Nations has blasted the Australian government for detaining the man, who also has mental health issues. Nick Baker SBS A United Nations working group has called on the Australian government to immediately release and compensate a 35-year-old Tamil refugee with multiple disabilities who has been in detention for more than nine years. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention wrote a “scathing” report about the individual being held since 2010, which has been seen by SBS News and ... Read More »

EU sued at International Criminal Court over Mediterranean migration policy – as more die at sea

In the same week that more migrant lives were lost at sea, the EU’s migration policy in the Mediterranean has been brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Maurice Stierl The Conversation It emerged on June 3 that the ICC had received a legal submission calling for the EU and some of its member states to face prosecution for enacting migration policies “intended to sacrifice the… The sharply worded submission was brought by international lawyers who have ... Read More »

Manus Island detainee Farhad Bandesh’s new song The Big Exhale – music video

The Kurdish artist and asylum seeker has been held on Manus Island for nearly six years Source: Wantok Musik The Guardian Manus Island detainee Farhad Bandesh releases… – video – His new song The Big Exhale was written and recorded across borders with the help of David Bridie (Not Drowning, Waving) and Jenell Quinsee, who connected with Bandesh through the Writing Through Fences initiative. A new music video, made in collaboration with Melbourne City Ballet, features the dancer Bilal Zeine ... Read More »

How many more people must die on Manus before Australia ends indefinite detention?

Refugees were counting down the days to the election. But our hopes have been dashed and the future is grim Behrouz Boochani The Guardian It is noon … there is no sign of that scorching Manus sun. The moist clouds assail the Manus Island sky … the weather is pleasant. I can’t say it feels like springtime, but it’s tolerable in contrast to the searing tropical heat. When the weather is like this the refugees from the different prison camps ... Read More »