Author: Kerry Murphy

  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugees in the dark over security checks

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 25 May 2012
    5 Comments

    Hayder and Mariam were found to be refugees in mid 2009. This year they had their second child. They have patiently awaited their security clearance, but when they make inquiries they are merely told that Immigration is awaiting the security checks from 'outside agencies'. The long process is affecting them mentally.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two refugee movement speeches

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 May 2012
    23 Comments

    Tony Abbott did not mention the term 'human rights' in his 3000 word speech to the Institute of Public Affairs on Friday. 'Illegal' appeared 11 times and 'asylum' once. In February, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gave a 3000 word speech to the Lowy Institute. A search of that speech finds 'human rights' five times, 'asylum' 21 times and no use of 'illegal'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia playing catch-up with latest refugee reforms

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 26 March 2012
    9 Comments

    Australia's refugee processing regime saw two major reforms take effect on Saturday. They bring Australia into line with the EU, Canada and New Zealand. The changes are welcome but do not go far enough. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker Scrabble

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 08 November 2011
    17 Comments

    Last week there were three significant events affecting refugees including, tragically, more deaths. The use of language in the debate about asylum seekers is always striking, and has evolved and adapted over the years. It does not always reflect reality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In a spin over Malaysia solution reboot

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 13 September 2011
    19 Comments

    Yesterday the Government announced it will change the Migration Act to enable the Malaysia solution to go ahead. This latest action reinforces rhetoric about queues and people smugglers that obscures the real effects and motivations of current asylum seeker policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Improving the refugee debate

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 24 August 2011
    4 Comments

    This week as we mark the 10th anniversary of Tampa, the High Court is hearing a legal challenge to the Malaysian solution and an inquiry into suicide and self-harm in detention is underway. Meanwhile a new report hopes to change the direction of the debate on refugees.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee lotto

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 27 July 2011
    3 Comments

    An old legal maxim is 'hard cases make bad law'. Maybe complex cases compromise policy. Refugee law and policy is complex and the Malaysian agreement signed this week is another example of a compromise on human rights principles for political expedience.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Back to basics on asylum seeker policy

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 23 June 2011
    2 Comments

    The Rudd Government promised positive reforms after a decade of 'boat people'-bashing from the previous government. Three years later, we are back where we were. To understand how this happened it is helpful to overview the changes under Labor and the gradual decline in 'key immigration values'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Rednecks, bogans and bad boat people

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 23 June 2011
    13 Comments

    The participants on SBS's Go Back Where You Came From seem like rejects from a bad reality TV show and are stereotypical in their views. Some reflect on the difference between 'good' and 'bad' refugees: this false dichotomy is a sticking point for many refugee advocates too.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My refugee friend

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 08 June 2011
    9 Comments

    Tuc was an officer in the South Vietnamese army. After the war ended in 1975 he was interned by the North Vietnamese for many years, locked up in a hole in the ground. I asked him how he survived. He smiled and pointed to his picture of the Madonna.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How not to treat asylum seeker kids

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 06 June 2011
    9 Comments

    Woomera, 2001. It's late, and we've been working for days. I give the detainees' children highlighters to draw with; unknown to me, one of them draws on the office wall. The next day an officer from the camp accosts me. 'This is damaging government property. Someone will have to pay for it.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Refugee rage

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 April 2011
    26 Comments

    The Department of Immigration and Citizenship say they can't tell me anything. The Inspector General of Intelligence and Security tells me to contact DIAC. As an immigration lawyer I find this frustrating. How much worse must it be for asylum seekers kept in detention with no end in sight?

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