Articles on Refugees

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Refugees on boats en route to Australia are seen by many Indonesians as our problem, not theirs. AAP/Karlis Salna

Not our problem: the Indonesian perspective on asylum seekers

If the lead stories in the digital and print media are anything to go by, Indonesians have little interest in the recent asylum seeker boat sinkings and the accompanying loss of life. Over the past couple…
Refugees stuck in Malaysia are not a means to an end - their rights as individuals are inviolable. AAP/Karlis Salna

The moral philosophy of the Malaysia Solution

There’s a knock on the door. It’s late, and it has been a wild and stormy night. You wonder who could possibly be outside in this weather. Opening the door you find a young man collapsed on your doorstep…
While politicians debated a bill in Canberra, 150 asylum seekers’ lives were at risk. AAP/Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Six issues missing from the asylum seeker debate

When asylum seekers die at sea there are too many things we don’t want to talk about. Following the news of another asylum boat capsizing yesterday, at 2pm the federal Parliament began with a sombre and…
There is no queue. EPA/Lynn Bo Bo

Refugee populations across the globe: the facts

Refugees are created by wars and persecution. People flee their homes because their governments will not, or cannot, protect them from harm and allow them to live in peace. Under international law, as…
We all know moving is hard. It’s even harder when you don’t want to go. But it can still be a positive decision. United Nations

Environmental migrants: victims, or heroes of adaptation?

Who are the “climate change migrants” we hear about with increasing regularity in the media and in global and regional policy forums? Are they the victims of devastating environmental forces - the result…
Some Australian refugees develop “protracted asylum seeker syndrome”. Alex E. Proimos

Long waits for refugee status lead to new mental health syndrome

There’s a common misconception within the Australian community that asylum seekers arrive by boat. In fact, most asylum seekers arrive here by aeroplane with valid travel documents and reside in the community…
Falun Gong protestors outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney in 2008. AAP/Dean Lewins

Chinese refugees risking lives for asylum in New Zealand

UPDATE: The Chinese nationals have now elected to stay in Australia, where they will seek asylum. A group of ten Chinese people fleeing persecution in their home country has presented Australian authorities…
The government’s obligations to immigration detainees are very similar to those of prisoners. AAP/Dean Lewins

After Serco, what rights do asylum seekers have in detention?

A training manual instructing immigration detention centre guards to use force to incapacitate detainees was leaked this week. It included techniques to kick, punch and target pressure points on detainees…
The AFL is throwing everything is has at Greater Western Sydney. AAP/Paul Millar

Bridging codes: football and Islam in western Sydney

The 2012 AFL debut of the GWS Giants is the culmination of efforts by the powerful, cashed up body that administers Aussie Rules to make inroads into the rugby league-obsessed, poor and predominantly refugee…
How can we stop people putting themselves in peril? AAP/Josh Jerga

Five ways to prevent more asylum seeker tragedies

Last weekend, an overcrowded fishing boat sank off the coast of Indonesia with more than 200 asylum seekers on board. In Australia, the political blame game started soon after with both sides trying to…
Asylum seekers held in detention centres like Villawood have been protesting that the current system doesn’t work. AAP/Dean Lewins

Why Australia should abandon the Refugee Convention

With the collapse of offshore processing, and the likely increase in boat arrivals into a politically charged environment, a cross-road may have been reached regarding asylum policy in Australia. Now would…
Shooty Vikadan died in Villawood Detention Centre before the Commonwealth Ombudsman could review his case. AAP/Torsten Blackwood

Dead refugee caught in ‘legal limbo’ between government agencies

The asylum seeker who committed suicide in Villawood detention centre this week should have been interviewed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman to establish whether he should have been released into the community…
Julia Gillard and her Immigration Minister Chris Bowen haven’t had the best of weeks. AAP/Alan Porritt

Asylum seekers to be processed onshore as PM weighs up a long week in politics

The Malaysia Solution isn’t quite dead, but its vital signs are certainly not good. With a steely look in her eye, and barely concealed anger, Julia Gillard blamed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for “trashing…

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