keywords: Unhcr

  • AUSTRALIA

    Breaking the 'boat people' deadlock

    • Lyn Bender
    • 30 January 2012
    37 Comments

    In his book They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayor writes of 'the slow lobster boil of erosion of freedom' in Nazi Germany. As a daughter of Jewish refugees I know what this entails. The same process confronts asylum seekers today if we do not begin from a presumption of rights and humanity. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't stoop to stupid policy over boat tragedy

    • Aloysious Mowe
    • 20 December 2011
    10 Comments

    Of course we want people to stop making the hazardous boat journey to Christmas Island, but tow-backs and off-shore processing are immoral and stupid. Australia must engage with others in the region to find ways to ensure people are not driven to make desperate journeys.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Life lessons on the Thai-Burma border

    • Duncan Maclaren
    • 16 December 2011
    2 Comments

    Jimmy was among the quietest of the refugee students we taught. He is now a leader with a 'backpack' medical organisation whose members take medicines into the areas where 'internally displaced persons' are found. He risks his life every day since the jungle is awash with Burmese soldiers.

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  • RELIGION

    Principles for a coherent refugee policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 04 November 2011
    13 Comments

    It is only because we are an island nation continent that we can entertain the absurd notion of sealing our borders from refugee flows. We must remain committed to resettling bona fide refugees who reach our shores regardless of any regional solutions we put in place to deter them. 

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  • RELIGION

    Kids key to Malaysia solution shambles

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 October 2011
    13 Comments

    No matter how the Government paints the canvas, it can never be in the best interests of an unaccompanied minor who is a refugee to be removed from Australia to Malaysia. And if such kids are irremovable, they will continue to arrive in Australia by boat.

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  • RELIGION

    Julia Gillard and Labor's moral decline

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 September 2011
    28 Comments

    Julia Gillard asked her advisers to design a system not for offshore processing but for offshore dumping. If John Howard had tried this in 2001, Labor would have gone ballistic. The advice of Gillard's intermittently trusted advisers is no longer worth the paper it is written on.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia flouting international law over refugees

    • Justin Glyn
    • 30 August 2011
    9 Comments

    By pursuing the refugee swap deal with Malaysia, Australia may be in breach of one of the most serious prohibitions in international law. This raises the question of what Australia's attitude is to other fundamenal norms of international law. This question goes well beyond issues of refugee protection. 

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  • EUREKA STREET/ READER'S FEAST AWARD

    Migrant myths and memories

    • Julie McNeill
    • 24 August 2011
    4 Comments

    Sociologist Eva Cox heard all the vitriol about boat people when, as a five-year-old Jewish girl, she fled Nazi Germany and headed to Australia. My nine-year-old mother was a different kind of boat arrival: one of 135,000 'child migrants' imported under the 'Populate or Perish' policy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Boat people' and the ethics of presence

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 August 2011
    29 Comments

    Suppose that in France under Hitler's occupation, a bloodied man arrived at our doorstep asking for shelter from a Nazi mob. The claim made by the presence of the endangered and injured man would precede questions of fairness and relative need.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    An ethical defense of the Malaysia solution

    • David Palmer
    • 16 August 2011
    20 Comments

    In this debate, moral passion is common, especially among those who cast themselves as refugee advocates. But moral passion should not be confused with moral superiority. Any claim to occupy the moral high ground in this complex area of public policy is at best brave and at worst self-serving.

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  • RELIGION

    Malaysia solution pros and cons

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 July 2011
    30 Comments

    The Malaysian solution is unprincipled, but it might just work — stopping the boats. If other countries try to replicate it, we will have to tear up the Refugee Convention and start again. And the plight of unaccompanied minors transported from our shores to Malaysia will be on our conscience. 

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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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