dreamer_easy: (refugees)
First group of refugees on Manus and Nauru to be resettled in US (GA, 20 September 2017). One of the detainees, Abdul Aziz Adam (of The Messenger podcast), has posted on Facebook that some of the detainees have already been told they will be moved within a week. (I haven't posted much about the refugee swap with the US because of my scepticism. Never been happier to be wrong!)

Victoria steps in to help 100 asylum seekers cut off by Coalition (GA, 9 September 2017) More states could help asylum seekers denied welfare by Coalition (GA, 11 September 2017). Only NSW ruled it out.

Manus Island: judge approves $70m compensation for detainees (GA, 6 September 2017). "Lawyers hope to have sum paid before offshore detention centre closes next month in what is Australia’s largest human rights class action settlement." Most of the refugees have signed up for the compensation, though some may have done so in the belief that they have no other options, and some have lodged objections and want a trial instead.

Nauru President indicates $8,000 visa fee for journalists will be waived next year (ABC, September 2017)

Australia's refugee capital 'shows what the country can do' (GA, 23 June 2017). "Fairfield in Sydney’s west has resettled roughly half of all humanitarian migrants to arrive in the past 10 years. ‘We’ll always open our arms,’ its mayor says."

dreamer_easy: (*gender)
Why do transgender children raise the hackles of 'tolerant' Australians? (Good Weekend, 9-10 September 2017). Benjamin Law does a great job of addressing concerns about children and adolescents transitioning, such as the possibility of misdiagnosis, and whether treatments are reversible. (An Explainer from The Conversation outlines treatments.)

Almost half of trans young people try to end their lives. How can we reduce this alarming statistic? (The Conversation, 1 September 2017) "Almost 90% have been rejected by their peers, 74% have been bullied, 79% have experienced issues with school, university or TAFE, 69% have experienced discrimination, and 66% have felt a lack of family support. Issues with accommodation or homelessness have affected 22% of the study respondents. These experiences reflect societal attitudes towards trans people and demonstrate that they continue to be marginalised. Such attitudes can be changed through raising awareness of gender diversity to create a more accepting society." I suspect that prying the ACL loose from its barnacle grip on the government might also help.

Marriage Discrimination is Harmful to LGBTI Australians' Health
(headspace.org.au, n.d.)

Gender Help for Parents Australia

The Gender Centre


As Up Over, so Down Under? The politics of transgender bathroom access in Australia (SBS 16 January 2017). "The Australian right takes its cues from the American right (witness Cory Bernardi’s enthusiasm for Trump), and right now, the American right is gunning hard for transgender people." | Where does Australia stand on transgender people serving in the ADF? (ABC, ). "... the cost of assisting transgender personnel over a 4.5 year period is roughly equal to 0.2 per cent of the [Australian Defence Force's] yearly health spend. The US military spends at most 0.13 per cent of its yearly spend on treating serving trans members."

Can transgender TV characters help bridge an ideological divide? (The Conversation, 9 August 2017) A study suggests that entertainment might be more effective than news coverage when it comes to changing peoples' attitudes towards trans people. This is good news plus a call to action for fiction writers like me.
dreamer_easy: (*gender)
As Allison Gallagher argues in the Guardian, the "No" campaign against marriage equality has long made trans and non-binary children and adolescents into "scapegoats". They can't win an argument about consenting adults, so instead they're attacking the Safe Schools anti-bullying initiative and the acceptance of LGBTI+ youngsters. As well as campaigning for the "Yes" side, we need to support those vulnerable, valuable kids. With that in mind, some links (some are from past posts but are still relevant).


Trans young people at alarmingly high risk of suicide and depression, report reveals (ABC, 1 September 2017)
Support services for at-risk queer Aussie youth (Star Observer, 25 November 2016)
Safe Schools program ditched in NSW, to be replaced by wider anti-bullying plan (ABC, 16 April 2017). It had better include material specifically aadd sex and gender; bullying, and homophobia and transphobia, are closely linked.
Sexual fluidity: Living a label-free life (ABC, 4 October 2016)
Australia's secret history of sexual fluidity (ABC, 3 October 2016)
The reality of Safe Schools (GA, 14 December 2016)
Crossroads program: should we teach children that gender identity is fluid? Here's what the research says (The Conversation, 16 September 2016)
Gender fluid: Girl, boy, non-binary (Lateline 23 March, 2016)
Majority of LGBTI Australians experience bullying, harassment: Human Rights Commission report (AM, 10 June 2015)
Transgender people face the highest level of harassment of LGBT+ Australians (SMH, 31 March 2015)
Beyondblue research reveals alarming levels of homophobia in teenagers (SMH, 31 March 2015)
What does bathroom anxiety feel like? (ABC, 4 April 2017)
Organisation Intersex International Australia | Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) Support Group Australia

And from the US:

Trans Students Have Caused Zero Incidents in Bathrooms Nationwide (3 June 2015)
Supporting and Caring for Transgender Children (Human Rights Campaign / American Academy of Pediatrics / American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians guide, 29 September 2016)

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
So many bookmarks...

The Refugee Council of Australia has advice on How you can help people who’ve been to Nauru or Manus (#letthemstay), who have been abruptly denied the welfare they are entitled to. You can also donate to Sydney's House of Welcome.

Government to relax secrecy rules for detention centre workers in 'humiliating backdown' (ABC, 14 August 2017) Whistleblowers will no longer risk two years' jail if they talk out loud about abuse and neglect.

Federal Government broke promises over refugee resettlement deal with US, UNHCR says (ABC, 24 July 2017) | UN says immigration officials helped screen Manus and Nauru refugees for family reunions (SMH, 26 June 2017). "The agency said it only agreed to help administer the deal between Canberra and Washington to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island in the United States on this understanding so that families were not separated."

ACT offers to resettle refugees held in 'inhumane' offshore detention centres
(GA, 24 August 2017)

Three pregnant refugees and nearly 50 others denied medical transfers from Nauru (GA, 21 August 2017) | Pregnant refugees refused abortions on Nauru must be brought to Australia, says AMA (GA, 23 August 2017)

Australia's offshore detention centres 'terrible', says architect of system
(GA, 16 August 2017) "Paris Aristotle says ‘what has been put in place is not what was recommended’ and there is not a ‘skerrick of evidence’ it deters asylum seekers from boarding boats."

And the boats keep coming: Five people smuggled to Australia by boat, Australian Federal Police alleges (ABC, 27 August 2017) | Boat carrying alleged people smugglers and Chinese men landed on Queensland island (GA, 30 August 2017). It's not clear if the people on board, who have been returned to China, were seeking asylum (the guvmint says they weren't, which leaves us none the wiser).

Peter Dutton loses appeal over detention phones (SMH, 17 August 2017) "The federal government has lost an appeal over a court ruling that determined guards don't have the right to confiscate the mobile phones of people being held in immigration detention." | High court upholds Australia's right to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea (GA, 17 August 2017)

Unwelcome visitors: Challenges faced by people visiting immigration detention (Refugee Council of Australia report, 2 August 2017)

We're quick to label refugees as either 'good' or 'bad', but they're all entitled to protection (GA, 28 June 2017) "Despite what he told the court, he knew full well that hitting his wife was a serious crime (as it is in Syria)... The family wouldn’t have come without him, so do you deny them all asylum? How, exactly, would that have protected Raghda?"

A little heartening news: Samim Bigzad: UK Government's attempt to deport Afghan asylum seeker fails after pilot refuses to take off (The Independent, 29 August 2017). Activists had a quiet word with passengers, who had a quiet word with the cabin crew, who had a quiet word with the pilot. Thank you all. Unfortunately, Australian activists did not have the same success in the case of a sick Iraqi man deported last month.

Many of those seeking asylum in Australia are Rohingyas from Myanmar. After recent massacres, many more will try to engage Australia's human rights responsibilities. Elsewhere: Sri Lanka leads the world for torture, again (Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, 19 August 2017)

Australia has 'golden opportunity' to help shape world refugee debate, says report (GA, 31 August 2017) "... if there are large environmental issues, if there’s a war in Papua New Guinea, if Isis takes root in in the Philippines, there could suddenly be large numbers of people trying to come to Australia, and it should be in your interest to make sure that the international refugee regime responds more effectively."

Australia resettles Cuban refugees found clinging to lighthouse off Florida Keys (GA, 22 August 2017) Welcome!

'Benefits on both sides': Armidale revealed as new home for Iraqi and Syrian refugees
(SBS, 11 August 2017)

The latest ABF bungle: Border Force illegally sent two Australian citizens to Christmas Island (GA, 5 July 2017). It'd be funny if they weren't playing with people's lives.

From the invaluable Snopes: Are Refugee Tuberculosis Rates in San Diego 'More Than 100 Times Greater' Than the National Average? SPOILER: no. Meanwhile, President Trump's "Muslim ban" has left refugees, including about 100 unaccompanied children, stranded. (The President's general hostility to migration is already damaging the US economy.)

When Hospitality Was the Norm and Multiculturalism Was a Good Thing (Yes!, 20 June 2017)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Recent events have meant a lot of news coming out of Manus Island. More on that later, but I wanted to catch up on my Nauru bookmarks first. Under Nauruan law, peaceful protests are illegal, but refugees continue to protest despite beatings and jail time.

Nauru security guard charged, sacked after alleged attack on refugee
(ABC, 5 August 2017)

Women of Nauru: seeing my sons in a school uniform is my only dream (GA, 17 February 2017)

Nauru blocks Australia's immigration department releasing data requested under FOI  (SMH, 15 February 2018) "Fairfax Media used freedom of information laws to request incident logs for the Manus Island and Nauru facilities between August 2015 and April 2016. However, after eight months, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advised the records for Nauru had been blocked to protect 'international relations'."

Nauru refugee says medical treatment withheld after he had heart attack (GA, 21 December 2016) | Refugee on Nauru claims medical treatment for severe heart problems delayed without reason (ABC, 21 December 2016). More life-threatening bureaucratic bungling. I wish I could find more recent news on this refugee.

‘Cutting it fine’: Questions raised over future of Nauru detention contracts (SBS, 12 April 2017) Another thing I'd like to find more news on - the current contracts run out at the end of October.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Federal government to launch crackdown on asylum seekers (SMH, 27 August 2017) "Under the new visa conditions, income support of about $200 a fortnight will cease on Monday and a three-week deadline to move out of government-supported accommodation will be imposed... It is understood about 400 asylum seekers and their children are living in Australia at present after medical transfers from offshore processing and all of these people could be hit with the new visa conditions."

Coalition to cut income support for 100 asylum seekers in Australia (GA, 27 August 2017)

Family faces uncertain future after government's visa crackdown on asylum seekers (Brisbane Times, 28 August 2017) "

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre needs donations to support asylum seekers cut off by the government, and asks us to call Senators and MPs to ask them to oppose the policy.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
GetUp! petition to #bringthemhere.

This point scoring and deal making with refugee's lives is absurd (The Age, 8 August 2017). Journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani writes from the camp: "Peter Dutton has reiterated that the Manus detention centre will close by October 31. This does not reflect any concern for the 800 or so refugees still housed here. Instead, it means a kind of ruthlessness has been formed in the government and the minister is utterly determined to shut down the facility despite us having nowhere safe to go."

UNHCR warns of escalating crisis on Manus Island (UNHCR media release, 10 August 2017)

Driven to death on Manus Island (The Saturday Paper, 12 August 2017)

'Trash left in limbo': Fears for refugees on Manus after detention centre closes (SMH, 13 August 2017) "'We are harassed on the road and robbed on the road... Police say they can't do anything. They say "we don't want you to come to our community".'"

Border force doctor knew of Manus asylum seeker's deteriorating health before death (GA, 9 August 2017) | These Emails Show The Government Was Repeatedly Warned Before Hamed Shamshiripour’s Death (Junkee, 12 August 2017) | Angry Labor MPs confront shadow minister in secret meeting over 'silence' on refugee death (SMH, 11 August 2017) |
Manus Island asylum seeker death: family want inquest in Australia (GA, 9 August 2017)

As others see us:

Australia’s Desperate Refugee Obstinacy (New York Times, 8 August 2017)

Trump said the Australians were 'worse than I am' on immigration. A tragedy may prove his point. (Washington Post, 9 August 2017)

'They don't care': Refugees shocked by leaked Trump-Turnbull call (CNN, 7 August 2017)

You Probably Missed the Big Story Buried in the Latest Trump Leaks (Time, 10 August 2017). "While the last Administration strongly pressed the Australian government to change its policy toward asylum seekers, we also sought to immediately relieve the suffering of these refugees and agreed to resettle up to 1,200 after they went through the U.S. government’s rigorous refugee screening processes."

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
The illegal camp is being closed. The refugees are being forced out to the transit centre in Lorengau. Power, phones, water, and medical treatment have been withdrawn. Outside the camp, they are subject to constant violent attacks by the locals. The refugees continue to protest. An Iranian refugee, Hamed Shamshiripour, has been found dead near the transit centre; it's not clear yet whether he was murdered or took his own life.

A transcript has been leaked of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's phone conversation with US President Donald Trump, in which they discussed the Australia-US refugee swap deal. First Dog On The Moon comments on this more effectively than I could.

dreamer_easy: (*gender)
Domestic Violence: Aboriginal women ask Australians to pay attention to assaults and murders (ABC, 11 July 2017)

A third of assault patients in Australia female: study (SMH, 19 April 2017). "More than half of all women and girls who end up in hospital being treated after an assault have been attacked by their partners."

Bid for paid domestic violence leave rejected (SMH, 3 July 2017) "A full bench of the Fair Work Commission said it has taken the "preliminary view" that while it is necessary to make provisions for family and domestic violence leave, it had rejected an application for 10 days of leave to be covered under all modern awards for all employees."

'Once a girl is married, there is no going back' (ABC, 29 July 2017). "It's a type of domestic violence you probably haven't heard of: dowry abuse. Some Indian-Australian men are using their desirable status as residents to extort thousands of dollars from the women they're marrying, with threats and violence if their escalating demands aren't met."

'Submit to your husbands': Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God (ABC, 18 July 2017) | How to navigate the research on domestic violence and Christian churches: A few frequently asked questions (ABC, 24 July 2017)

Exposing the darkness within: Domestic violence and Islam (ABC, 24 April 2017) | Muslim women unite to encourage daughters to have healthy relationships (ABC, 26 April 2017) NB: "There's no evidence that suggests domestic violence rates are higher among Muslim women than the broader Australian community."

Domestic Violence: Family Law Act plan could see end to alleged perpetrators cross-examining accusers (ABC, 17 July 2017)

Abortion laws making it harder for women to escape domestic violence, expert warns (ABC, 21 June 2017)

Domestic violence: Report finds 'clear link' between media reporting and understanding of issue
(ABC, 30 June 2017). "Our Watch CEO Mary Barry said the way journalists frame individual stories can have a major impact on public understanding. 'Blaming victims for the violence inflicted upon them, for instance, still happens in one in six articles about violence against women,' she said."

BOSCAR data showing rise of domestic violence by women 'not giving the full picture' (ABC, 22 June 2017)

Domestic violence survivors should get early access to super, HESTA says
(ABC, 20 June 2017)

Universities spend millions preparing for wave of sexual assault reports (SMH, 22 July 2017). "Australian universities will spend millions of dollars on counselling services as 'a wave of victims' are expected to come forward following the release of the world's largest report into sexual assault on campus." The AHRC survey of tertiary students will be released on 1 August.

Texas slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and ended up with more teen abortions (ThinkProgress, 17 July 2017)

Rural women 'bullied' into caesareans amid doctor shortage (ABC, 16 July 2017)

Introducing use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers would make life fairer for mothers (ABC, 20 July 2017). "Under [Australia's paid parental leave system], the primary carer is eligible for up to 18 weeks' pay at minimum wage, nine times more than Dad and Partner Pay, which is two weeks at minimum wage."

CWA members hope washable sanitary pads will give isolated women freedom to learn (ABC, 13 July 2017)

Islamophobia: Women wearing head coverings most at risk of attacks, study finds (ABC, 10 July 2017)

Explainer: Why do Muslim women wear a burka, niqab or hijab? (ABC, 23 September 2014). Explains the difference between different kinds of coverings.

How can Muslim feminists reclaim their religion from men? (ABC, 1 May 2017)

Catcalling and street harassment is happening more often than you might think (ABC, 22 June 2017)

The woman who was charged with murdering her wife (ABC, 5 September 2012). The historical story of transman Harry Crawford.

This is topical, given the Tweeter-in-Chief's latest announcement: Witch-hunts and surveillance: The hidden lives of LGBTI people in the Australian military (ABC, 24 May 2017)

Intersex and proud: model Hanne Gaby Odiele on finally celebrating her body (GA, 23 April 2017)

A Queer Gods Ritual: An Introduction to the Queer Ones. I was pleased to find this again, so I'm leaving it here.

Good grief, there's so much more. It'll have to wait for another posting.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Vigils will be held nationwide on Wednesday 19 July 2017 to demand the detainees on Manus and Nauru be safely evacuated to Australia. The United Nations has called for the immediate evacuation of both camps.

The illegal detention centre on Manus Island will close on 31 October. Services are being closed down in an effort to force refugees out, including food and the gym, which is critical to detainees' mental health. The refugees are being told to go to the Lorengau Transit Centre, where they fear attack from Papua New Guinean locals - with plenty of good reason, given four violent robberies of refugees in the last month. Some refugees are in danger of refoulement. Essentially, the men are being punished for having been illegally imprisoned.

Doctors for Refugees tell the story of a maintenance worker at the Manus Island detention centre who saved a refugee's life by defying the government's gag order.

"The Australian Border Force admitted internally that it failed to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual assault and abuse on Nauru but did not disclose these findings to a parliamentary inquiry."

Despite being recognised as a refugee, Pari, the partner of Omid Masoumali, has been indefinitely detained in isolation in Australia since Omid's terrible death in April 2016. "He was ambitious, intelligent, invincible. But after three years, even Omid was broken." As many as fifty similar suicide attempts and threats of suicide followed his death.

In an excerpt from a compilation of Nauru detainees' stories, They Cannot Take the Sky, Benjamin describes the three years since his arrival with his family at age eighteen. "I wasted all of the best time in my entire life, the time that I was about to make my future happen, the time that I promised myself I would study hard and become the best." He also describes Omid's suicide attempt, which he witnessed.

A severe outbreak of dengue fever on Nauru affected at least one in ten refugees.

The savage damage done to the mind of a five year old refugee girl imprisoned with her family on Nauru has resulted in an out of court settlement. Her family is currently in community detention in Brisbane. Another five year old girl was compensated for similar damage done on Christmas Island.

Meanwhile, a refugee family have been split by detention for three years, with father and son left on Nauru while mother and daughter receive medical treatment in Australia

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor faces deportation after visa denied (GA, 20 June 2017)

Call Peter Dutton's office on (02) 6277 7860 to say you're concerned and to ask that Mojgan be allowed to stay in Australia with her husband.

We were overseas for six weeks, so I'm sure I missed a ton of stuff, but it was great to come home to some good news: the largest compensation payment in Australia's history, totalling over $90 million ($70 million plus $20 million in court costs), has been awarded to the men subjected to false imprisonment, neglect, violence, and torture, in our detention centre on Manus Island.

Commonwealth agrees to pay Manus Island detainees $70m in class action settlement (ABC, 14 June 2017)

Manus Island: Why asylum seekers sued the Commonwealth (ABC, 21 June 2017)

Despite what Peter Dutton says, the Manus Island payout is momentous (SMH, 14 June 2017). "Immigration Minister Peter Dutton can assert there is no admission of liability, but you don't agree to a payout of more than $90 million if you are confident you can defend your position in open court." Perhaps the Immigration Minister calls the settlement a "prudent outcome for the Australian taxpayer" because of how much more the government would have had to pay - on top of already wasting billions in taxpayer funds on detention - if all the details had been heard in open court.

It's not all good news. The government settled out of court to avoid a finding on the legality of offshore detention. And, of course, the men are still bloody there. Safety more important than settlement - Manus detainee Behrouz Boochani (RNZ, 15 June 2017). ""We came to Australia legally seeking protection under international laws but were exiled by force to this island and imprisoned for four years. This compensation is not enough to cover all of the crimes that the government has committed against us. It is important that the government is condemned."

Also good to hear: Coptic Christians who were refused refugee status in Australia will have their claims for protection reconsidered (GA, 1 June 2017)

More from Manus Island:

Revealed: year-long campaign to make conditions harsher for Manus refugees (GA, 17 May 2017). "Documents show how the Australian government sought to drive refugees and asylum seekers from its detention centre in Papua New Guinea."

Self-harm, suicide and assaults: brutality on Manus revealed (GA, 18 May 2017). "Secret papers show 16 self-harm and suicide attempts in one week at Australia’s offshore detention centre."

Four birthdays in Manus Prison (Honi Soit, 14 June 2017) Rohingya refugee Imran Mohammad describes how has so far survived the nightmarish conditions.

Scale of surveillance in Manus Island detention centre laid bare (GA, 19 May 2017). "But while everything inside detention is scrutinised, of perhaps even greater concern is an all-pervasive fear over outside eyes looking in. Prime among the Australian camp manager’s concerns about the Manus immigration detention centre is the risk of 'reputational damage'."

Manus Island shooting left nine injured, immigration department admits (GA, 22 May 2017)
| Australian government downplayed risk of shots fired on Manus Island, analysis shows (GA, 15 May 2107)

US to notify Manus Island detainees about their fate within six weeks (SMH, 16 June 2017) | Australian refugee deal with US costs Turnbull government additional $22m (GA, 3 May 2017)

Refugee Trial Begins (Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 19 June 2017). Loghman Sawari, who fled Manus Island to Fiji to seek asylum, has pled not guilty to charges of falsely representing himself obtaining a fraudulent passport.

Catching up on old bookmarks:

Detention centre interpreters need more training for 'hazardous' work – report (GA, 17 April 2017). I'll have to try to find out if this situation has changed: the training and support given others working under stressful and dangerous conditions in Australia's offshore detention centres was not being offered to translators, who were treated like "outsiders", resulting in a high turnover of these highly skilled staff.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Deadline for asylum seekers in Australia impossible to meet, lawyers say (Guardian Australia, 23 May 2017). "Experts say 1 October deadline for 7,194 asylum seekers to apply for refugee status ‘arbitrary, unnecessary and unfair’ and ‘the slip of a pen could be a death sentence’."

Sign for a #FairProcess - Asylum Seekers Resource Centre petition against the 1 October deadline
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Child asylum seeker wins government payout over Christmas Island detention trauma (GA, 26 April 2017). The girl, "suffered recurrent dental abscesses and recurrent allergic reactions while in detention on Christmas Island and was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression with anxiety, separation anxiety, stuttering and bed-wetting." | Children are being damaged in detention – Australia's day of reckoning will come (GA, 27 April 2017)

Catching up on links.

At What Cost? The Human, Economic and Strategic Cost of Australia's Asylum Seeker Policies and the Alternatives. Report from Save the Children and UNICEF, September 2016.

Detention abuse inquiry did not interview children so as to not 'traumatise them further' (GA, 6 March 2017) IIUC the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is due at the end of this year.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Report on Christmas Island (August 2016). From the introduction: "The Christmas Island detention centre holds around 30 men seeking asylum mixed in with about 200 men exiting prisons from across Australia after serving sentences of varying length for crimes of varying severity. This places the men seeking asylum at significant risk of harm due to the simmering resentment of some of the ex-prisoner population. The effects of the extreme isolation, fear of violence, uncertain future, and lack of adequate mental health care has had a deeply dehumanising effect on these men. The detention centre on Christmas Island is run as a high security military camp where control is based on fear and punishment and the extensive internal use of extrajudicial punishment by force and isolation is evident." | 'I do not deserve this,' pleads asylum seeker detained with violent criminals on Christmas Island (SMH, 27 September 2016) | Australia's forgotten detention centre: the peculiar torture of Christmas Island's asylum seekers locked up with hardened criminals (SMH, 17 September 2016)

This is the most recent news I can find on the boat that sank off Christmas Island: Siev 221 tragedy: class action adjourned as asylum seeker boat survivors seek documents (GA, 28 September 2016)

Going even further back in time: Christmas Island detention centres to close as part of immigration savings (GA, 12 May 2016) They won't be mourned (the shire president describes them as having been "a disaster" for the community.)

End Immigration Detention of Children is a worldwide organisation; their Australian branch is the End Child Detention Coalition.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Manus refugees who fed child lodge complaint about Dutton's 'false allegations' (GA, 27 April 2017). "All of these incidents is recorded by your CCTV cameras. We are requesting for the immediate release of the footage of this incident. We didn’t do any wrong except helping a poor boy. We need investigation ASAP."

Manus Island shooting: PNG MP labelled 'discredited witness' by Dutton reinstated by court (GA, 26 April 2017). So much for that dodge.

On my lengthy outing today I read all of Sean Dorney's short book The Embarrassed Colonialist, which discusses Australia's relationship with its former colony, Papua New Guinea. Dorney argues that Australia's lack of interest in our neighbour is to our detriment: a stable PNG is both an important trading partner and strategically significant, as it was in WWII. However, politicians take little interest and the media's attention has dwindled to little beyond sensational stories. Dorney is clear on the fact that PNG does have serious problems with violence, corruption, and general lawlessness, but also asserts the country's strengths: it is struggling, but not failing, to progress. Amongst the ways forward that Dorney suggests is for Australia to contribute training of police, officials, teachers, etc. The book is easy to read, and if anything, too brief; I'm left wanting to know a lot more, which I guess means the author has succeeded! (For me the only wrong note was the use of "political correctness" to explain why Australia's history as a coloniser isn't taught in our schools, which only underlines how meaningless that phrase is.)

Dorney touches briefly on the detention centre on Manus Island, and the promises of aid which helped Kevin Rudd sell its "resurrection" to PNG PM Peter O'Neill. "While there has been some employment created on Manus and a few business opportunities there is real annoyance within the host province that many of the extra aid benefits went to the mainland." (Perhaps there is schadenfreude at the resulting mess.) "Assimilating the mostly Muslim people who are classified as genuine refugees into PNG's strongly Christian communities adds yet another challenge for a country with no shortage of challenges already." Dorney also reminded me of something I'd forgotten: Nauru was also once an Australian colony.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Contact Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ask him to replace Peter Dutton as Immigration Minister:

Contact Peter Dutton and ask him to either produce the evidence he says he has, or resign:

Peter Dutton says his claims about Manus violence came from 'classified information' (GA, 27 April 2017) and he won't release it. *headdesk*

Manus Island police chief says he has not been contacted by Peter Dutton or his staff (GA, 25 April 2017) "He also said police are not investigating the incident, in further direct contradiction to Dutton’s claims."

Manus Island controversy: who said what and when (GA, 25 April 2017)

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Peter Dutton demands apology from media over Manus controversy (GA, 25 April 2017)

The incident a week or more ago in which a ten-year-old boy approached the detention centre on Manus Island, was given food, and returned safely to his parents, did not spark the violent attack on the centre. However, there's a danger that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's insistence that it was a factor, and his innuendo that the boy was taken there to be sexually abused, could trigger further violence. I firmly believe this should be the end of Peter Dutton's time as Minister for Immigration. He should either produce the evidence he says he has, which contradicts the statements of the police, navy, and witnesses, or he should resign. When even Andrew Bolt says you should put up or shut up, it's time to put up or shut up.

Contact Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ask him to replace Peter Dutton as Immigration Minister:

Contact Peter Dutton and ask him to either produce the evidence he says he has, or resign:

Dutton's Manus Claims Could Inflame Community To Murder, Manus MP Claims (Huffington Post, 24 April 2017) MP Ron Knight is also furious at Dutton's continued insistence that he has better information than those "on the ground". (Interestingly, Dutton claims Knight is a "discredited witness" as he has been dismissed from the Papua New Guinean Parliament for corruption. How about the police commander and the navy, Mr Dutton? Are they also "discredited witnesses"?)

How Dutton comes out of dispute about Manus claim goes to the question of character (The Conversation, 23 April 2017)

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Peter Dutton defends comments over 'five-year-old' boy and Manus shooting incident (ABC, April 23 2017) | 'I have facts you don't': Immigration minister Peter Dutton stands by Manus claims in fiery interview (SMH, April 23 2017) Dutton overboard? We live in hope. ETA: Turns out the ten year old's approach to the centre took place two weeks before the attack. | 'Ridiculous': Peter Dutton contradicted for third time over Manus Island brawl explanation (SMH, 24 April 2017) Manus MP Ron Knight: "His comment that he knows more than we do is ridiculous."

Government dismisses shootings on Manus Island (The Saturday Paper, 22 April 2017). Iranian refugee Behnam Satah: "I know for sure that there was a few real Wilson heroes that night in security which did many things to stop navy from entering compounds. But people don’t trust them because we know for sure Australia can extract all his citizens whenever it wants. They could just go and leave us." Behrouz Boochani: "Some refugees feel better with the officers because some of them protect them on that night. I don’t think this make relationship better between refugees and guards because the refugees have lost four friends in this island and also the officers during the big hunger strike on January 2015 beat the refugees and put them in Lorengau jail. The refugees have had very bad experiences with this system."

Waiting for America (SMH Interactive, April 2017) "As the fate of the US-Australia refugee deal hangs in the balance, Michael Gordon and Alex Ellinghausen visit Manus Island to find out who might be gifted a new life, and what will happen to those left behind."

I posted a while back that International Health and Medical Services had been kicked off Manus for practising unlicensed, leaving refugees with only basic and emergency healthcare. Here are earlier links from the lead-up to that: Manus Island: IHMS accused of running medical centre without a licence (GA, 3 March 2017) | Manus Island medical clinic may be shut down, PNG Government says (ABC, 4 March 2017)

An audit of IHMS held last year showed dangerous incompetence: Immigration healthcare provider failed to run police checks on staff on Manus (GA, 16 February 2017) They also lost the working-with-children check run on one staff member, and "failed to provide evidence it provided appropriate vaccination coverage for children, child health milestones or specialist referrals".

dreamer_easy: (refugees)


Serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre - the Senate Committee's report.

Australia must end 'fiction' it does not control Nauru and Manus centres, Senate inquiry finds (GA, 21 April 2017)

Human rights groups demand closure of Manus and Nauru after scathing Senate report (GA, 22 April 2017)

Catching up on links:

Australia's detention centres a crime against humanity, says submission before ICC (ABC, 14 February 2017)

Immigration Department spent more than $1 billion without proper authorisation, independent audit alleges (ABC, 17 January 2017) "The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been accused of mismanaging offshore detention centre contracts, with an independent audit alleging more than $1 billion was spent over the last four years without proper authorisation." | Immigration spent unauthorised $2.2bn on offshore detention, says auditor (GA, 17 January 2017) "The auditor found the department failed to get 'value for money' in running offshore detention: contracts were signed 'in great haste to give effect to government policy decisions and the department did not have a detailed view of what it wanted to purchase'. In some cases, private contractors tendering for contracts were invited to suggest elements they would like written into contracts, and contracts were signed before agreement on a price. In addition the auditor raised safety concerns, finding massive gaps in the video recordings taken within the island detention camps."
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Contradicting refugee, police, and navy accounts, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stated that the armed attack on the Manus Island detention centre was sparked when locals saw refugees leading a five-year-old boy towards the centre. Papua New Guinea police say that a ten year old boy approached the centre to ask for money, without being led there, and this was entirely unrelated to the attack. The boy was safely returned to his family. Manus MP Ron Knight: "Dutton should get his facts right and stop inflaming the situation."

I am too gobsmacked to comment.

While I'm here: refugees will be among those hardest hit by the new White Australia policy the proposed changes to the citizenship test.

Rohinhya refugee Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque, detained at the centre, writes: 'I have never experienced safety since I was born': Life in the Manus 'death centre' (SMH, 21 April 2017)


dreamer_easy: (Default)

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