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Keywords: Unhcr

  • AUSTRALIA

    The problematic 'saving lives at sea' argument

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 28 July 2015
    35 Comments

    When refugee advocates criticise harsh policies such as boat turnbacks, they are confronted with claims that the measures are necessary for saving lives at sea. This justification has dominated the debate to the extent that any policy which further restricts refugee rights becomes justifiable on this ground. Imagine a proposal to ban cars because there were too many people killed and injured on the roads.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Europe rejects the 'Australian Solution'

    • Nikolas Feith Tan
    • 15 May 2015
    11 Comments

    Since the drowning of around 800 people on 19 April, politicians in the UK, France, Italy and Denmark have been suggesting that the European Union adopt our hardline asylum policy. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has advised the EU that 'only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats'. But last week, the EU denied it was in talks with Australia, saying 'the Australian model can never be a model for us'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Europe's more humane approach to on-water matters

    • Ellena Savage
    • 24 April 2015
    13 Comments

    Australian references to 'boat people' is simplistic and offensive. 'Queue jumper' inaccurate and moralising. Even the term 'asylum seeker' has become politically complicit. European coverage of this week's Mediterranean boat tragedy describes the victims and survivors simply as 'migrants', which is an open description of a person on a boat crossing borders.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Seeking asylum in the Promised Land

    • Nikolas Feith Tan
    • 03 December 2014
    9 Comments

    Israel is one of the world's developed countries that is attempting to deter asylum seekers from accessing the protection that international refugee law entitles them to. Yet Israel is a state with refugeehood in its roots. Israeli refugee advocates have encouraged a change of policy on the basis of Jewish exile in Egypt as recorded in the Torah. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unauthorised maritime arrivals don't have names

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 24 November 2014
    20 Comments

    I recently received a letter for Ali in which he was referred to only by his boat number and the term 'illegal maritime arrival (IMA)'. He was worn down by the long process of winning his case and being accepted as a refugee. His self-esteem was destroyed by a long period in immigration detention. His identity is now also gone. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High noon for Government refugee policy

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 12 September 2014
    12 Comments

    There may not be simple solutions to complex issues such as how to reduce the risk of travel by boat without punishing the refugees. However, the High Court's latest decision reminds us there are people involved and they are not ‘outlaws’.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine endgame?

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 July 2014
    11 Comments

    The shooting down of MH17 by insurgent anti-aircraft missiles has now been swallowed up in the wider drama of the fierce civil war raging in Ukraine's pro-Russian eastern region. On 24 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, appealing to all those involved to respect the humanitarian rules of war or face later indictment as war criminals. The burning question now is, what will Putin's Russia do?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Central American ganglands spark child refugee crisis

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 23 July 2014
    2 Comments

    The exodus of thousands of unaccompanied and undocumented children from Central America countries to the US — via Mexico's unforgiving northern border — has become a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented dimensions. While organised crime continues, economic violence remains unresolved and the US doesn't get its migration policy right, such children will keep risking their lives.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia supplying alleged refugee persecutors

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 July 2014
    6 Comments

    While Immigration Minister Scott Morrison sits with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and hands over customs vessels to the Sri Lankan Government for use in preventing people escaping Sri Lanka, Australia's High Court is deciding whether a group of 158 Sri Lankan asylum seekers can be returned to the Sri Lankan Government. How did we get to the stage where we are supplying the alleged persecutors with the means of stopping people from escaping and seeking our protection?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stopping the boats at any cost

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 July 2014
    21 Comments

    Like the Dictation Test devised devised to enforce the White Australia Policy, the National Interest Test would allow the Minister to exclude anyone he wanted. People who claim protection can be confident that the Australian Government will not have them or their dogs killed, but they will have no confidence that they will not be placed in dangerous situations or returned to places where they fear for their lives.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Tamils facing new atrocities in Sri Lanka

    • Paul White
    • 04 July 2014
    39 Comments

    On Monday we learned that two boats of Tamil asylum seekers had been intercepted off Christmas Island. Now there are unconfirmed reports that Australia is handing them over to the Sri Lankan navy without assessing their claims for protection. Amnesty warns Tamils face the risk of sexual violence, torture, murder, imprisonment, and enforced disappearance. Since March this year there have been scores of arrests and several deaths.

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