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Scott Morrison has repeatedly characterised the Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour as being necessary to protect the Australian community. AAP/Alan Porritt

Asylum seeker code is a rhetorical tool – with severe consequences

Recently, it was reported that asylum seekers are “staying indoors”, fearful of breaching the Asylum Seeker Code of Behaviour. All unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) who are granted bridging visas are…
Asylum seekers with an existing mental health condition who receive negative outcomes during the application process are particularly vulnerable. Barat Ali Batoor

‘Fast track’ asylum processing risks fairness for efficiency

After much controversy, the Senate passed the Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 late last week. One aspect of the law – the “fast track assessment…
No other minister has the same unchecked control over the lives of other people as the immigration minister has. AAP/Lukas Coch

New law gives Morrison unprecedented control over asylum seekers

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison now has unchecked power to decide the outcomes that will affect the lives of asylum seekers and refugees coming to Australia. Previous immigration ministers have had…
Despite what the protesters' sign says, it remains to be seen how regional Australia accepts refugees under the proposed safe haven enterprise visa scheme. AAP/Newzulu/Lesly Lotha

Refuge and morality in Australia, from lost at sea to lost on land

Australia has long had an obsession with migration law and national boundaries. Currently, it appears in the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill…
Australia has the second-highest number of immigrants – in relative terms – among OECD countries, according to a new report. AAP/Dan Peled

Report marks Australia’s shift from settler to temporary migrant nation

Immigration is a political hot potato. On the day the OECD published its latest annual survey of global migration, Swiss voters rejected a referendum to reduce annual migration numbers. A few days earlier…
Australia announced this week that asylum seekers who are waiting in Indonesia to be resettled in Australia will not be accepted. EPA/Hotli Simanjuntak

Why Indonesia shrugged off Australia’s move to bar refugees

There was a collective shrug in Indonesia over Australia’s decision to stop accepting refugees who are waiting in Indonesia to be resettled in Australia. Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison…
Nauru’s culture of hospitality once applied to all, including the asylum seekers who arrived in 2001 to a dance of welcome, a tradition depicted on this stamp. Refugee resettlement has changed all that.

Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to resettled refugees grows on Nauru

Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees…
A ban on resettling asylum seekers from Indonesia calls into question the rationale of Australia’s resettlement program. EPA/Hotli Simanijuntak

Questioning the queue: blocking protection to asylum seekers in Indonesia

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has announced that asylum seekers residing in Indonesia while awaiting protection will no longer obtain resettlement in Australia. This move puts into serious question…
In matters of ‘security’ social problems, the persistent undesirable condition has been that of the ‘boat people’. AAP/Scott Fisher

Defining deviance: four steps in constructing a threat to security

In matters of national security, who is deviant and poses a threat to our safety depends on the claims made by those in positions of power and the sociopolitical climate. The news media are crucial in…
The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, criticised Australia in his opening address to the UN Human Rights Council. EPA/Salvatore di Nolfi

Explainer: why is the UN reviewing Australia’s record on torture?

The Australian government is being examined on Monday evening by the United Nations Committee against Torture. Before the independent committee of experts, an Australian government delegation has to answer…
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Coalition had concerns at the time about the detail of the agreement Labor put in place just before the 2013 election. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bishop puts no time on PNG starting refugee resettlement

The government wanted to ensure Papua New Guinea understood “absolutely” its responsibilities to resettle refugees from Manus…
There was an expectation that there would be an increase of negative views on immigration in 2014 – but the reverse has occurred. AAP/Dan Peled

Continuity and change: Australian opinion in a time of stress and fear

The report on the 2014 Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion surveys, released on Wednesday, finds both continuity and change. On attitudes to asylum seekers, for example, there is a large measure…
Hazaras have long been persecuted in Afghanistan, but those returned from countries like Australia are in particular danger of being tortured and murdered. Wikimedia Commons/ISAF Public Affairs Office

Australia’s folly returns Afghan Hazaras to torture and death

It has been a bad time lately for Afghan Hazaras with Australian connections. In late September, the shocking news came through that the Taliban had tortured and murdered an Australian of Afghan background…
A supposedly proud record of generosity to refugees in no way alters the harshness of the government’s present policies. AAP/Stefan Postles

Unfamiliar pasts challenge our view of responses to refugees

How do Australian institutions and political leaders draw on history to tell us who we are? How do they make sense of Australia’s past as a country of immigration and a nation that has accommodated hundreds…
Paediatricians says children’s trauma is compounded when they are placed in mandatory detention. Australian Human Rights Commission/AAP

Paediatricians say mandatory detention is child abuse

More than 80% of Australian paediatricians believe mandatory detention of asylum seeker children constitutes child abuse…
Refugees may find a welcome in rural and regional Australia if resettlement helps ease labour and skill shortages. AAP

Regional Australia can be a carrot or stick in the new refugee policy

Accompanying the reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) in Australia last week was a new type of immigration visa, the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV). What is significant about the SHEV…
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng toast the resettlement deal, which has alarmed refugee advocates. EPA/Mak Remissa

Explainer: does the Cambodia refugee deal comply with the convention?

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Australia and Cambodia raises important questions about Australia’s international legal obligations, the nature of regional refugee protection and resettlement…
When Immigration Minister Scott Morrison talks of restoring integrity to the program, he isn’t fretting about meeting international legal obligations. AAP/Lukas Coch

Abandon all hope the doubly persecuted people who enter by boat

Whenever an immigration minister states that new laws will “restore integrity” to the immigration program it is clear what they mean is we have new ways of refusing cases and punishing the bad refugees…

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