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Survival capsule used by Australia to return asylum seekers from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan to Indonesia. Himawan Nugraha/EPA

Would Australia’s asylum seeker policy stop boats to Europe?

What would it mean if the European Union decided to "get Australian" and adopt a tougher approach to asylum seekers? Could it work, and at what cost?
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran. EPA

Ms Bishop goes to Tehran: a story of good news and bad news

Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
AAP/Antonio Melita

Zones of peace and turmoil

More than 20 years ago, two American academics, Max Singer and Aaron Wildavsky, wrote about what they described as The Real World Order: Zones of Peace/Zones of Turmoil. As is the way with such things…
‘A dramatised event is no replacement for the horrors of what is really going on.’ AAP Image/NewZulu/Nicolas Koutsokostas

The ‘refugee telemovie’ shows our government is lost at sea

The government has announced its latest method to stop the boats: a telemovie with storylines about asylum seekers dying at sea. Is it really the role of government to fund propaganda pieces like this?
The capacity for compassion is with us from birth, but as a community we have lost sight of the value of treating all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. AAP/Julian Smith

Australia, a nation in need of compassion-focused therapy

A global movement aims to let compassion guide political and community life. This has obvious relevance for a competition-driven nation with a troubling capacity for harsh attitudes and policy.
The number of refugee deaths at sea is on the rise internationally. AAP Image/Scott Fisher

FactCheck: did 1200 refugees die at sea under Labor?

It is broadly correct to say 1200 asylum seekers died at sea under Labor. Globally and in our region, however, more asylum seekers than ever are leaving their country by boat.
Pictures drawn by children detained on Christmas Island, given to the Australian Human Rights Commission as part of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014. Australian Human Rights Commission Flickr Page

What can we draw from pictures by detained child asylum seekers?

Children’s drawings are an accessible and compelling image of the mandatory detention of children in isolated camps. Is that why they carry so much weight in the media?
Deprivation and trauma and early childhood can affect the developing brain. Australian Human Rights Commission

Detained children risk life-long physical and mental harm

Many asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations. So how does immigration detention affect their mental health?
A drawing by a six-year-old child detained at the Christmas Island detention centre. AAP/AHRC

Report calls for royal commission into children in immigration detention: experts respond

The federal government has tabled the long-awaited Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) report into children held in immigration detention. The report, which recommends a royal commission be held…
Protests in Australia over the potential execution of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan will gain little traction in Indonesia. AAP/Mick Tsikas

‘Bali Two’ executions could set back Australia-Indonesia relations

It now seems almost inevitable that two Australians, drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, will soon be executed in Indonesia. If this does happen, there will be public protests in Australia…
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has so far continued in the ‘bad cop’, border protector image of his predecessor, Scott Morrison. AAP/Lukas Coch

Shaping 2015: The boats have stopped, now the real work begins in immigration

2014 was the year of triumphant press conferences at which the Abbott government affirmed its determination to “stop the boats” and outlined its success at doing so. However, 2015 is likely to be much…

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