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Refugees

This tag is associated with 27 posts

Australian staff evacuated from asylum detention centre after conflict between Papua New Guinea security forces


The Australian immigration minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed that Australian staff were evacuated from the regional processing centre on Manus Island after an incident involving “Papua New Guinean agencies”. The minister, who said he had not been fully briefed on the incident, said details were a “matter for the Papua New Guinean government to address”. … Continue reading

UN slams Australia for plan to send asylum seekers home


The United Nations has slammed as a possible breach of the Refugee Convention the Australian government’s plans to speedily send a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers home. The boatload of asylum seekers believed to be from Sri Lanka arrived at the far-flung Australian territory of Cocos Islands on Thursday – the first such group … Continue reading

Australia’s Prime Minister apologises to Malaysia for second time in a week


Tony Abbott has apologised to an Asian leader for the second time in a week over his robust political campaigning before he was elected, offering an “act of contrition” for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The Australian Prime Minister acknowledged in a meeting with Mr Najib at the APEC conference late on Monday that … Continue reading

Australian government’s information control policy fails dismally, reflects badly


Despite his habit of making bewildering proclamations (”Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts”), Jim Morrison is responsible for a piece of wisdom that has resonated through the ages: ”Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”. Control or limit the information available to people, and you frame the debate to your … Continue reading

Australian senator wants to charge asylum seekers $50,000


  Australia‘s Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm has proposed a radical plan to charge asylum-seekers $50,000 to come to Australia “through the front door”. Mr Leyonhjelm, who will join the Senate on July 1, will be one of eight crossbench senators who will hold the balance of power in the new Senate. Speaking on Sky … Continue reading

Australia will take 500 refugees from Syria


The Coalition government will set aside 500 places for Syrian refugees in response to an appeal from the United Nations Refugee agency for help accommodating the displaced Syrians. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday that “a further 500” Syrian refugees will be settled in Australia in 2013-14. The places will come from within the … Continue reading

Asylum seekers drown on way to Australia


About 20 people, mostly children under 15 years old, died when an asylum seeker vessel sank off the southern coast of Java on its way to Australia. Adjunct Commissioner Warsono from the Agrabinta Police has confirmed that 25 people were rescued before the search was called off at nightfall. He could not say how many … Continue reading

Indonesia warns Australia against turning back asylum-seeker boats


Indonesia has raised the ante in its dispute with the Abbott government over turning back asylum-seeker boats, saying its plan puts at risk Jakarta‘s “close cooperation and trust”. The warning came as Tony Abbot sought to reassure the Jakarta “we absolutely respect Indonesia’s sovereignty and we would never do or propose anything which is contrary … Continue reading

Indonesian asylum-seekers give up hope on Australia


As the realisation takes hold that they are shut out of Australia, growing numbers of asylum-seekers trapped in Indonesia are considering voluntarily returning to their homelands. Asylum-seekers in Cisarua, south of Jakarta, told The Australian that Tony Abbott’s election victory was the final blow to lingering hopes of getting to Australia by boat and being allowed … Continue reading

Indonesia invites Australia for controversial “turn back the boats” asylum-seeker talks


Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has opened the way for Australia’s Tony Abbott to make his first foreign visit as prime minister to Indonesia, with bilateral talks on the controversial policy of turning around asylum-seeker boats possible within a fortnight. The development came as another key plank of Mr Abbott’s asylum-seeker policy began to take … Continue reading

Australia to continue Papua New Guinea asylum seeker scheme


Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he expects a Tony Abbott-led government to respect the asylum-seeker processing arrangements made with former prime minister Kevin Rudd. But Mr O’Neill says he is open to the scheme being reviewed. “The resettlement program (asylum-seeker deal) and the infrastructure development program associated with this, negotiated and agreed … Continue reading

Indonesia says Australian opposition party unfriendly, insulting


Australian opposition party leader Tony Abbott‘s plan to buy boats from Indonesian fishermen to prevent the vessels being used by people smugglers has been slammed by Jakarta as unfriendly and an insult to Indonesia. The buyback plan has met with heavy resistance in Jakarta, with a senior member of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono‘s ruling Coalition … Continue reading

People smugglers take to the sky with Australian asylum seekers


People smugglers are concocting a new and expensive product to sell their asylum seeker clients – flying them into Australia on fake tourist visas to sidestep the harsh policies of both political parties aimed at boat arrivals. Three separate groups of Iranian asylum seekers in the Indonesian province of West Java have told Fairfax Media … Continue reading

Australia provides Papua New Guinea extra funding


Australia will provide extra funding for newly prioritised projects in Papua New Guinea – on top of the existing $507 million aid program – under Kevin Rudd’s asylum-seeker deal. PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill told The Australian these new projects – such as the rebuilding of the Lae hospital, whose cost has been estimated at … Continue reading

UN warns Australia that asylum seeker policy may breach international law


The United Nations refugee agency has warned Australia that its decision to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea could breach international law and its human rights obligations. Around 700 asylum seekers have arrived at Christmas Island since the deal was announced last week, and will be eligible to be resettled in PNG, not in Australia, if … Continue reading

Papua New Guinea attacks Australian opposition party for disrespect


Papua New Guinea has warned Australian politicians to show it more respect, a day after Opposition Leader Tony Abbott went on the attack over foreign aid flowing to the country. Mr Abbott had accused Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of subcontracting out the nation’s aid program to PNG as part of the asylum seeker processing deal, … Continue reading

Australia puts bounty on heads of people smugglers


The Australian government will award bounty payments of up to $200,000 for those individuals who can provide information that will help the AFP crack down on people smugglers. The announcement by Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare follows a breakthrough deal under which asylum seekers who come to Australia by boat will be resettled in Papua … Continue reading

Australia to send extra police to Papua New Guinea


Australia will send up to 50 police officers to Papua New Guinea by the end of the year to help tackle the country’s growing law and order problem. Papua New Guineans will also enjoy ”passenger lane” status – currently shared by Australian and New Zealand travellers – at Brisbane and Cairns airport from September. Australian … Continue reading

Australia’s new asylum policy hits Iranians hardest


Asylum seekers from ethnic and religious majorities in their own countries will have great difficulty establishing a valid claim for refugee status in Australia under new Rudd government policy. This will strike hardest at Iranians, currently the single largest and most troublesome component of the asylum-seeker flow. Most Afghans and Pakistanis would still pass the … Continue reading

Australian people fed up with growth in asylum-seeker numbers


The Australian people are completely fed up with the boatpeople saga. Chief among their concerns is a decent humanitarian desire to stop the drownings that accompany the people-smuggling trade. But that is not the whole story. The Australian people in their overwhelming majority want the national government to reassert national sovereignty over our borders. When … Continue reading

Australian authorities too busy to recover floating bodies of asylum seekers


Australian authorities are too busy to recover the floating bodies of asylum seekers whose boat sank near Christmas Island. Thirteen bodies were spotted on Saturday as aircraft and boats searched for the vessel that was believed to have been carrying about 55 men, women and children before it capsized northwest of the island. A three-day … Continue reading

Australian mainland now off limits for asylum seekers


The government and opposition have rejected a bid to open the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea for inspection by Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner. They have also blocked an attempt to give the Australian media the same access to the centres that it has to mainland and Christmas Island detention facilities. There … Continue reading

In Australia, some asylum women and kids to be released soon


The government has moved more than 500 children and families into the Curtin and Wickham Point detention centres, readying them for release on bridging visas with no work rights. Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor announced on Tuesday that part of the remote Wickham Point facility, about an hour out of Darwin, and Curtin detention centre in … Continue reading

Australia: Asylum seekers children to stay on Manus Island despite doctor’s health warnings


Refugee families will remain on Manus Island, despite staff at the camp going public with concerns children were at risk at the asylum seeker detention centre. Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor on Tuesday rejected opposition claims that the government was preparing to move families off Manus Island in response to a doctor’s warning of health risks. … Continue reading

Australia says asylum seeker boat arrival not a new people smuggling strategy


Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor believes an asylum-seeker vessel that made it to the mainland is an exception, and does not herald a new strategy by people-smugglers. The Sri Lankan navy has warned the vessel’s arrival in the West Australian port of Geraldton will encourage more people to take the dangerous voyage, believing they can evade … Continue reading

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