Asylum seekers

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A boat used by Indonesian people smugglers in Rote island. East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Police/AAP

Turnbull needs to add a dose of humanity into tough asylum policy

Malcolm Turnbull confronts a classic “wicked problem” in how to deal with the nearly 1600 asylum seekers who are stuck in terrible conditions on Nauru and Manus Island. A “wicked problem” is one that is…
Reuters/Murad Sezer

The geography of compassion

Are some countries more compassionate than others when it comes to taking in the victims of conflict and chaos? To judge from the numbers, one might be forgiven for thinking so. Of the four million registered…
Many features of Australians’ and their government’s current response to the Syrian refugee crisis are familiar. Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

Australia’s resettlement of Syrian refugees is tinged with déjà vu

We need to see Australia's response to the Syrian refugee crisis in perspective – in relation to what's been done elsewhere and to what Australia has done on similar occasions in the past.
Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

The end of Western Europe?

The current influx of asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants into Western Europe presents a profound challenge to the European Union’s values, solidarity and capacity to simply manage and accommodate…
The Abbott government’s instinct on foreign policy is to approach it through the lens of domestic politics. AAP/Lukas Coch

Global pressures expose the limits of Australian foreign policy

The pressure the Abbott government faced over the Syrian refugee crisis hints at a broader trend. Global political dynamics are now exposing a credibility deficit in Australian foreign policy.
An estimated 10,000 people, including many children, attended a candlelit vigil in Sydney to show support for refugees. Richard Ashen/AAP

Abbott juggles the political pressures on Syrian refugees

Tony Abbott is wedged between the hard right in the Coalition and commentariat on the one hand, and Liberal moderates, compassionate conservatives and pragmatists on the other, as the government considers…
A global approach would significantly increase the burden-sharing between the refugee-hosting countries near Syria and the rest of the developed world. Reuters/Stoyan Nenov

Only a global response can solve Europe’s refugee crisis

The size of the refugee crisis stemming from the conflict in Syria means that no single country can deal with it alone.

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