Many citizens are upset that the plight of refugee claimants held in limbo for five years on Manus Island and Nauru are not front and centre in the current election campaign. But the policies of the major parties are somewhat similar. Here CLA’s refugee champion, Director Jennifer Ashton, explores the issue.
As waves of people continue to push on foot towards a possibly walled Mexico-USA border, the US President is lowering even further the number of refugees permitted into the USA in 2019. Can individual Australians sponsor a ‘caravaner’ refugee? Yes, but it’s costly, lengthy and replete with reams and months, if not years, of red tape. CLA Director and refugee expert Jennifer Ashton explains.
The most surprising aspect of the High Court’s decision on the lawyer-informer case involving Victoria Police is not how much the court castigated the lawyer, or how it delivered a blistering attack on the standards and culture within Victoria Police. What no-one seems to have picked up on is how seven judges of the High Court of Australia have delivered what a lay person would call a judicial threat against the lawyer: go into VicPol’s witness protection program – against your own wishes – or you are likely to lose your children, taken from you by the State.
Long-time government adviser on refugees and detention, retired Air Vice Marshall Ray Funnell, is calling on both major sides of politics to come clean with citizens and admit that we have effectively stopped the boats: we should immediately partner with Indonesia on future-based solutions to regional refugee challenges, he believes. AVM Funnell appeals for an end to the political deceit, dissembling and outright lying that casts a shadow politicians’ debates on the refugee/detention issue
‘I don’t want to live any more’ said the man standing in the rubble of his destroyed home. His teenage daughter beside him burst into tears and the younger daughter looked up at him, not understanding. CLA member and former Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke – a member of the three-person UN Group of Experts whose report on Yemen is under consideration by the UN Human Rights Council – explains the tragedy of a violent one-sided war, a nation bombed towards oblivion, and a broken people whom the world has forgotten. (Includes link to Yemen Report to the UN HRC).
Why are we are so timid over rights and freedoms, but so over-zealous when it’s repression? With refugees, we have struck upon a crude, cruel way to discourage asylum seekers. Now, a new law is taking the barest minimum steps to try to help 21stC slaves. With more slaves in the world than ever before, it was time our parliament enacted robust legislation with teeth: instead, we’re getting a Modern Slavery Act as flakey as a gummy shark.
How many refugees and asylum seekers are on Nauru and Manus. How long have they been there now? What is their future? How many have left either for their home country or for other destinations? It’s hard to know, because precise details are kept from us. Whatever the number is, some people have been there since 2012, and their current situation is unconscionable.
By CLA Director Jennifer Ashton*
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has rightly brought our attention to persecuted minorities in South Africa…but he has overlooked people who fit his stated criteria perfectly.
They demonstrate a work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit that would fit well with values of Australians and who have been the victims of nationwide violence against them in 2008, 2015 and 2017. Rioters attacking this group chant a revolutionary Jacob Zuma song, in this case “hand me my machine (gun)”.