Asylum seekers

There are 18 posts in this category

Eating like a refugee – for a week

August 26th, 2016   

“Eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee”, the advertisement invited.
“I did,” writes Nicole Soorkia, guest blogger for 2020socialjustice, “for a week. It was hard, but not nearly as hard as it would be if it was every week. I’m humbled and grateful for this glimpse into part of a refugee’s life, and here are my notes from each day.”

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Detention dilemmas in refugee week

June 19th, 2016   

It is, I find, impossible to celebrate refugee week in Australia while offshore detention persists. I found myself, instead, thinking about the dilemmas of detention work – for workers themselves, as well as the rest of us.

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Have you ever wanted to rewind refugee policy?

April 9th, 2016   

A poem by Brian Bilston cleverly reflects polarised positions on refugee policy, and an interview with the Minister for Immigration epitomises Australia’s entrenchment at the negative pole. Both pieces of work are included in full in this post, for the record, and in the hope that we will find our way back in the way of the poem.

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“JOURNEY” – Propaganda extravaganza to deter asylum seekers

April 3rd, 2016   

“JOURNEY” is a government-funded movie intended to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia, and is part of a $70.7 million dollar budget allocated for the purpose over a six-year period. It is a sadistic piece of work to my eyes (despite virtuous spin about “saving lives at sea”) and this post provides a record of the grim political times that give rise to such a movie…Joan Beckwith.

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Fast-track rejection (of refugees) via fast-track process

June 24th, 2015   

“Ali” is an Afghan asylum seeker with little English. He needs to complete 62 pages of forms, answer 184 questions, and provide a detailed statement of his refugee claims – in English, with 28 days’ notice. He is unlikely to be able to manage this. “Ali’s” failure, along with thousands of others who have been in limbo for up to three years, appears built in to the “fast-track” process…Joan Beckwith.

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Reaching for HOPE on World Refugee Day

June 20th, 2015   

Author E.B. White’s letter of hope to a man who had lost faith in humanity resonates on World Refugee Day (Saturday 20 June, 2015) at a stage in our history when restoring hope – in human rights for asylum seekers – is crucial for the collective psyche of all Australians; and, indeed, all humanity.

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“WHILE I ENJOY NORMAL TUESDAYS” Immigration detention through the eyes of a 13-year-old

May 15th, 2015   

Thirteen-year-old Imogen Senior was not bogged down by entrenched views when she wrote about Australia’s offshore detention centres. Her uncluttered eyes saw children younger than herself in awful circumstances who want to kill themselves – while she “enjoys normal Tuesdays”. This kind of clarity has been hijacked in the adult population, as reflected in responses to Imogen’s letter…Joan Beckwith.

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Having our say on Australia’s refugee intake (43 critical voices)

January 29th, 2015   

Australia’s response to refugees is of vital concern in a political climate of increasing contempt for human rights. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) invited submissions on Australia’s future refugee intake, and this post (follow the link) contains my response to that invitation, and that of 42 other people who added their names to mine…Joan Beckwith.

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Between a rock and a hard place…in the wreckage of ‘the fair go’

November 21st, 2014   

Caught between state-sanctioned dangers of the detention camp on Nauru and local vigilantes, refugees are indeed caught between the proverbial rock and hard place…with no safety anywhere in the wreckage of ‘the fair go’. Here are two stories – for the record and your comment…Joan Beckwith.

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When the ‘twain’ won’t meet and ‘might’ defines ‘right’

September 5th, 2014   

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”
Rudyard Kipling’s verse, from 1889, makes a mockery of pride in ‘progress’. His ‘twain’ takes many forms in contemporary Australia, and none more entrenched than the division between those who see mandatory, indefinite detention of asylum seekers as inherently wrong and those who consider it necessary to stop the boats and protect borders.
Whose ‘might’ will define ‘right’ in this destructive divide?…Joan Beckwith.

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