keywords: Unhcr

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Cheque book solution on asylum is unconstitutional

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 April 2016
    33 Comments

    A bench of five justices of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest court in Papua New Guinea, has unanimously ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional. Yet again, Australia has been complicit in its Pacific neighbours (PNG and Nauru) prostituting their Constitutions and undermining the rule of law in exchange for a fistful of dollars, with hapless asylum seekers, most of whom are ultimately proved to be refugees, being left to languish.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Which refugees would Jesus resettle?

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 15 December 2015
    25 Comments

    The UNHCR guidelines for resettlement are there for a reason: those who need resettlement, when this option is available, are the most vulnerable and weak in a refugee population: children and teenagers, women at risk, people with urgent medical needs, the elderly, victims of torture and trauma, split families. None of these should be subject to a religious test. As several Muslim commentators have said in the Australian media, you do not ask a drowning person her religion before rescuing her.

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seekers are people like us

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 11 September 2015
    2 Comments

    Some refugee advocates will almost deify the refugee, and take away their humanity by making it seem that the refugee is always right. In reality refugees make bad decisions, tell lies and exaggerate, just like the rest of us. But that does not mean they're contemptible. Recognising their humanity makes it easier to feel empathy with them, and less likely we will fear them. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why calls for compassion for refugees don't work

    • Tim Robertson
    • 09 September 2015
    3 Comments

    Writing in The Australian this week, Chris Kenny declares: 'Emotion, moral vanity, political posturing and good intentions won't be much of a guide when it comes to making the right decisions and delivering the best results'. He and like minded opinion writers get so much traction because they're essentially correct. Compassion alone is not enough.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Lord's Resistance Army is alive and well

    • Dorothy Horsfield
    • 26 August 2015
    1 Comment

    For almost twenty years, across the settlements and subsistence farms of Central Africa the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has preyed upon civilian populations with exceptional cruelty, emerging from the bush in small units to commit unspeakable atrocities. These days there is a common assumption that the LRA has been decimated and scattered and that its leader Joseph Kony is in hiding and probably ineffectual. But visiting activist Sister Angelique Namaika insists this optimistic assessment is misguided. 

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  • 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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