Articles on Refugees

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The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s ‘Given the Chance’ program enables asylum seekers and refugees to demonstrate their skills and loyalty as employees. Brotherhood of St Laurence

‘Very loyal’ productive workers: the same people we fear as refugees

Seeking asylum from persecution is a right and people who do so are not "illegals" under the law. Yet refugees are portrayed in negative and threatening terms in Australia, while positive stories are ignored.
The Abbott government has hid asylum policy behind ‘operational matters’ since it took office – starting with then-immigration minister Scott Morrison in 2013. AAP/Paul Miller

Boats secrecy leads to bad policy without democratic accountability

The withholding of information about government actions in asylum seeker policy undermines its democratic accountability to the Australian people.
A crew of people smugglers have alleged that an Australian official paid them to return a boatload of asylum seekers to Indonesia. AAP/Customs

Is it an offence if Australians pay people smugglers to turn back?

If Australian officials did pay off people smugglers, has the government effectively joined the people smuggling trade? Has it broken any laws?
These Rohingya women and children, rescued by fishermen in Aceh, are among thousands in need of resettlement. EPA

Australia can do better on Asian boat crisis than ‘nope, nope, nope’

A summit in Bangkok is discussing the fate of thousands of people who were stranded at sea. Australia is represented but refuses to resettle any refugees, casting doubt on its commitment to a regional solution.
A boat carrying 450 people from Myanmar and Bangladesh is inspected by Thai Navy officers in the Andaman Sea. EPA/Royal Thai Navy

Are those fleeing persecution and impoverishment so very different?

The political rhetoric would suggest that asylum seekers are deserving and economic migrants are undeserving. Yet their motivations overlap and are complex – forced migrants do not fit easily into one category.
Rohingya refugees from Myanmar travelled in this fishing boat to Sumatra, Indonesia, with officials announcing some 2000 people were rounded up or rescued after arriving in Malaysia and Indonesia over the weekend. EPA

Pushed offshore, the ‘boat people’ crisis demands regional response

Australia may have 'stopped the boats' but the tragedy of people drowning at sea continues to our north and is getting worse. A regional solution to the refugee crisis is urgently needed.
The great Australian success story of Frank Lowy and many others like him would not have happened had Australia not accepted penniless refugees. AAP/Dean Lewins

Australia should not auction off migrant places to highest bidders

The problem with auctioning immigration places is that it puts the focus on short-term revenue-raising, rather than immigration’s more important medium- to long-term nation-building role.
Most of the migrants desperately crossing the Mediterranean from Africa are refugees. EPA/STR

Without immigrants, none of us would be here

The migration of early Africans into the Middle East, then across the Mediterranean into Europe and Asia – and eventually into the Americas and Australia and the Pacific Islands – is the origin of today’s humanity.

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