Category Archives: Refugees and asylum seekers

ROBYN SAMPSON. Ending child immigration detention is just a matter of time.

Momentum is growing around the world to end child immigration detention. All major human rights experts now agree that immigration detention is a child rights violation. Meanwhile, more and more countries are passing laws that prohibit child immigration detention.

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FRANK BRENNAN. Seeking Clarity on Boat Turnbacks and the Utility of Offshore Refugee Warehousing

Erika Feller (former Assistant High Commissioner UNHCR) and Michael Pezzullo (Secretary, Dept of Immigration and Border Protection) spoke at this year’s ANU Crawford Australian Leadership Forum on borders and the movement of people.  The convenor of the forum is ANU … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. The origins and incoherence of Australia’s asylum seeker policy

During Refugee Week 2017, I would like to offer a historical perspective on how we got to where we are in the hope that we might be able to convince one or both of our major political parties to reset … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Black Hearts Behind Australia’s Offshore Detention Policy

So, the Australian Government has settled a class action brought by asylum seekers detained on Manus Island for $70,000,000. Apparently, the settlement was reached because the Government was fearful of the evidence and stories of official abuse that would have … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. The invidious choice for refugee advocates

Robert Manne’s latest piece on the future policy options for refugees on Nauru and Manus Island is now available here. The moral-political question is about the choice confronting those of us advocating a change of policy by the major political parties.

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ROBERT MANNE. An urgently needed compromise

In recent weeks I have been involved in an extended argument on the Monthly’s website over the fate of the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island whose lives all participants in the discussion agree are being slowly destroyed as a … Continue reading

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Building a regional refugee framework.

The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) expanded its membership, deepened its policy contributions to the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) and developed its connection to the Association of Southeast Asian … Continue reading

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PHIL ROBERTSON. A new wave of atrocities is being committed against Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state

The burned-out mosques in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine state in western Burma, loom as silent reminders of an atrocity, hiding behind overgrown bushes and cement walls amid the daily port city bustle.  

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FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE and JOHN MENADUE. We can stop the boats and also act decently, fairly and transparently

The only way forward in dealing with Manus Island and Nauru is for bipartisan commitment to keep the boats stopped while settling refugees in Australia.

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DENNIS ALTMAN. Bringing Nauru and Manus refugees to Australia is a win-win win. If the PM is bold enough.

Ultimately this argument is about a small number of people who risked their lives in the belief that Australia would provide sanctuary and a better life. In admitting them, Australia could demonstrate basic humanity, close the camps and remove an … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump and Turnbull.

The problem is not with America and Australia – it is with Trump and Turnbull, and more urgently with Turnbull. Sooner or later he will have to decide: does he continue as the next in line of Trump’s Aunt Sallies, … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. Turnbull turns toady for Trump

Let’s hope it’s worth it. Malcolm Turnbull has sacrificed whatever remaining credibility he may still have had as a small ‘l’ liberal in a desperate effort to save his tawdry deal with the American government. What looked like a brilliant … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Bad hombres.

Donald J. Trump likes to sound off about ‘bad hombres’ sneaking into the United States to spread terror and crime. Bad hombres come in many shapes and disguises, not only as bad people but also bad ideas.  

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Welcoming the Stranger

In solidarity with refugees, young Catholics joined in a Mass in Lafayette Square outside the White House. See link below to article in ‘America, The Jesuit Review’.  

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John Menadue. What does it mean to be an Australian? Are we still the land of the second chance?

The Macquarie legacy is still with us. It underpins our best instincts to give all residents in this country, whether Australian born, migrants or refugees an equal opportunity in life, a second chance. That ethos of redemption is a core part … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Should we re-think Australia Day?

The Australia of today is vastly different to the Australia of my childhood with its widespread racism and sectarianism. It was socially suffocating. For those changes I am very grateful. There is a lot that we can be proud of. … Continue reading

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AHMAD RIZKY M. UMAR. ASEAN countries should find a solution to end the persecution of Rohingya.

ASEAN’s non-intervention is aggravating the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims suffering widespread abuse by the Burmese military in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities.  

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MICHAEL GARCIA BOCHENEK. EU cannot copy Australia’s offshore asylum model

Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centres. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and increasingly unsustainable politically. It’s no model for Europe. … Continue reading

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BRUCE ARNOLD. The Hanson Card is unworkable rather than just very nasty

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has reportedly proposed that every Australian be required to carry a national identity card. The rationale? The card will supposedly significantly reduce fraud by non-citizens who are resident in Australia.  The proposal may be good … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s gulag of shame

As someone born after World War II who grew up in India, I have always wondered how it was possible for a highly civilized society like Germany to have been complicit through silence in the horror of the Holocaust. It … Continue reading

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CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 2 – The response of those left behind

It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Democratic Renewal, Economy, Education, Health, Media, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chomsky interview on the ravages of neoliberalism.

In this interview, reported in The Wire on 31 January 2016, Noam Chomsky talks about the ravages of neoliberalism. this is a repost from 21 February 2016. 

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I am ashamed to be Australian.

I decided to become a photojournalist to help refugees tell their stories, and to show their plight.  I was stunned by the lack of compassion and the outright racism I saw in my countrymen.  I was angry as only a … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 2 of 3.

Asylum seekers and children in detention There are four separate issues that typically get lumped into one confusing debate: the policies on asylum seekers, boats turnback and offshore detention; and the treatment of detainees. 

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Australia’s Death by Numbers

The dead refugee had a name. But even in death Australia did not want to humanize him. For years now he had been no more than a registration number — BRF063 — under the country’s cruel refugee deterrence system known … Continue reading

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Broken men in paradise.

‘The world’s refugee crisis knows no more sinister exercise in cruelty than Australia’s island prisons.’ In this long, searing account in the New York Times, Op-ed columnist, Roger Cohen, describes what he found on a recent visit to Manus Island.

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ROBERT MANNE. Yes Virginia, there is a solution to Australia’s asylum-seeker problem.

A new chapter of humanly decent policy with regard to asylum seekers, more reflective of the many fine and generous impulses in our history of welcoming refugees, can at long last be opened.  For pity’s sake, let it be.

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HENRY SHERRELL, PETER MARES & ANNA BOUCHER. Another obstacle on the road to citizenship?

Making migrants ‘provisional’ risks Australia’s multicultural success.

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Shakespeare on refugees, strangers and inhumanity.

In a series of speeches written by Shakespeare, Thomas More makes the argument for the humane treatment of those forced to seek asylum after being expelled from their homeland. This is a repost from August 23, 2016.  

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