refugees

The way in which refugees are excluded is one of the most serious human rights issues facing non-citizens. Refugees may find themselves denied a wide range of human rights including such basic rights as freedom, the right to work, the right to education and the right to safety. Thousands of asylum seekers have lost their lives seeking to cross international borders.

Australia’s refugee intake at historic lows

asproppop

Update November 2016:  Since this post back in 2015, Australia has announced a special humanitarian intake for Syrian refugees. According to information published by the Department of Border Protection, in the 2015-16 year, 17,555 humanitarian visas were issued including almost 3800 to Syrian refugees. In a discussion paper issued for the 2015-16 year, the Department…

A refugee journey out of endless war

A journey

The anonymous words below come from the reflections of a young person who arrived in Australia as a refugee.  She was when she wrote in Australian immigration detention.  Her words were submitted to the national inquiry currently being undertaken by Australian Human Rights Commission into children in immigration detention.  Links to national inquiry and her…

Fifty Million Refugees and Displaced People

refugeesinsyria

Not since World War II have there been more than fifty million refugees and displaced people in the world. On 19 June 2014 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that this total had been exceeded in 2013. Half of those displaced are children.The primary cause of this increase in human suffering are violent…

A Fitting Memorial

Polos conmemorativos  para aquellos que murieron en el SIEVX fueron erigidos  por australianas escolares y grupos de la Iglesia y comunidad  en Canberra.

On or around 14 November 2010 another 97 men, women and children lost their lives as asylum seekers crossing the sea to Australia. The recent Four Corners  report (which focussed also on the people smuggler network involved) explored something of the lives of those lost. We here record their names, and what few details that Four…

The borders of virtue and power

Between Virtue and Power

Closing borders: to refugees, to undocumented migrants, raises questions of virtue and questions of power. The public debate around borders is so fractured, so superficial, so bedevilled with assumption and ritual conflict that it conveys little new meaning.  It simply reiterates the existence of a continuing contest – a contest that often is more about power than rights. In this contest…

Three reasons for Abandoning Mandatory Detention

gate at Christmas Island Detention Centre

A paper delivered at a roundtable on alternatives to detention held in Canberra, June 9 – 10, 2011 By Penelope Mathew Freilich Foundation Professor The Australian National University Why does mandatory detention of asylum seekers continue in Australia when there are alternatives? In this short presentation, I invite people to think about three important issues…

Do Foreigners Have the Same Human Rights as the Rest of Us?

Same Human Rights?

At the core of human rights is the axiomatic truth that human beings have inherent rights: that all human beings are equal and possessed of dignity and that violation of such rights is both morally offensive and legally impermissible. An alternative ordering of human relationships is mandated by exclusive national citizenship. Implicitly and explicitly national…

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Australia

Navi Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

As, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, today acknowledged there are a lot of human rights positives for Australia, but there were two issues on which Australia’s record is troubled: Australia’s treatment of indigenous Australians and asylum seekers. “In my discussions with Aboriginal people, I could sense the deep hurt and pain that they…

Why Global Citizenship?

passport

1. Introduction Plutarch said: … nature has given us no country as it has given us no house or field. … Socrates expressed it … when he said, he was not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world (just as a man calls himself a citizen of Rhodes or Corinth).[1] Plutarch…