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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 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…
Newly arrived refugees face many obstacles to making healthy food choices. Lucian/Flickr

Resettled refugees adopt Australia’s bad food habits

Refugees settling in Australia constantly face new challenges. They have to re-adjust to new income levels, cultural practices and language. They also face a new food environment, where many traditional…
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…
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…
This is as far as you go: refugees arrive in Jordan. EPA/STR

Jordan has become the West’s warehouse for Iraqi refugees

Swamped as we are with media outrage and political rhetoric about asylum seekers “invading” Europe, we tend to forget that the vast majority of displaced people find refuge in countries far beyond EU borders…
It is reasonable to surmise that the number of boats attempting to reach Australia has fallen dramatically in the Abbott government’s first year. AAP/Jon Faulkner

The boats may have stopped, but at what cost to Australia?

In opposition, Tony Abbott and his alternative government set itself a three-word performance indicator for success in its refugee policy if and when it took office: stop the boats. With one recent exception…
Asked to describe their situation, many children in detention drew pictures to express their feelings of hopelessness and despair. Author supplied

Eyewitness: With Gillian Triggs on Christmas Island to inspect child detainees

If a visit to Christmas Island sounds like fun, think again. A remote tropical island in the Indian Ocean – billed as a birdwatcher’s paradise and a haven for snorkelling – has a dark side. It is “home…
Australia’s judiciary has emerged as a political and activist institution, frustrating the militarised strategies of the Abbott government in asylum policy. AAP/Lukas Coch

High Court asylum case pits the executive against the judiciary

The full bench of the High Court will hear the case of 157 Sri Lankan asylum seekers currently on an Australian customs vessel over two days, starting on August 5. But when the High Court issued an injunction…
Tragedies such as the boat sinking off Lampedusa, Italy, In October 2013 help put Australia’s asylum ‘problem’ into a global perspective. EPA/Ettore Ferrari

Australia puzzles a world with far more asylum seekers of its own

From the perspective of the global north, Australia has always been an oddity. Its policies often seem as strange and inexplicable as its fauna. “They are strange those Australians, strangers to the world…

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