Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Until when: The forgotten men of Manus Island

    Until when: The forgotten men of Manus Island

    This joint report by the Refugee Council of Australia in partnership with Amnesty International, tells the story of the men who have been sent by Australia to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and what has happened to them after they were forcibly removed from the ‘regional processing centre’ on Manus Island one year ago.
    Executive summary
    “The system the Australian government has designed for refugees and asylum seekers, has a kind of evil and devastating effect. It can ruin the very inner strength of human spirit. To the outsider, Fariborz [Karami] took his own life [on Nauru in June 2018], but the truth is the system took his life. There is no alternative explanation, and we must hold
    the Australian government accountable for this action.Read more

  • Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017

    Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017

    Summary and recommendation
    The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Migration Act to:
    1. allow the Minister to determine that an item is a ‘prohibited thing’ in relation to immigration detention facilities,
    2 allow existing screening, search and seizure powers to be used in relation to prohibited things,
    3 provide a power to search all areas of immigration detention facilities without a warrant, and
    4 enable the use of detector dogs to search facilities and to screen detainees and other persons entering the facilities.

    This post goes into the details of the Bill, the responses of the main parties and the Government’s respond to these comments.
    Read more

  • Canadian minister talks up benefits of immigration on Australia visit

    Canadian minister talks up benefits of immigration on Australia visit

    Canada’s immigration minister is something of a global anomaly at the moment.

    Not only is Ahmed Hussen a former refugee, but someone who loudly and regularly advocates the benefits of immigration in what he calls a “world of closing doors”.

    Mr Hussen spoke at the University of New South Wales on Friday as part of his multi-city visit to Australia, where he championed a more progressive stance on immigration and refugee policy.
    And for him, the topic is not just a portfolio, but a lived experience.
    At 16, Mr Hussen escaped the civil war in Somalia and fled to Canada. He went on to study and practice law, before becoming the country’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship last year.

    Listen to Admed Hussen’s address at the Kaldor CentreRead more

  • ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    Prominent human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside AO QC, spoke to members of the local Blue Mountains community about his refugee advocacy work at the Royal Hotel in Springwood on Sunday 26 August 2018.
    Introducing Mr. Burnside, Ms. Doyle congratulated the BMRSG for organising the function and welcomed the ‘great honour of introducing a great man.’
    In his address, Mr. Burnside praised the Blue Mountains community for supporting refugees and also acknowledged the local families that have welcomed refugees into their homes.
    Julian Burnside said it was wrong for the Australian government to send legitimate refugees back to harm.
    Read more

  • What is ‘The Global Compact” and why is it important?

    What is ‘The Global Compact” and why is it important?

    Peter Dutton announced to Ray Hadley that Australia was not signing ‘The Global Compact”. So what it is?
    It is the first universal instrument to provide common frameworks, guiding principles and approaches to deal with international migration. It has been developed over 18 months of multi-stakeholder consultations and six rounds of negotiations between UN member states with conflicting interests.
    The final draft, completed on 18 July 2018,
    Read two concise informative summaries that explain what it is and why it is important.Read more

  • Dutton’s Dog Bill is back in the Senate

    Dutton’s Dog Bill is back in the Senate

    Institutionalised brutality has to be challenged.
    Again! Last year we thought that we had stopped Minister Dutton’s plans to allow the use of dogs in detention centres and for officers to have increased powers for strip searches and seizures without warrants. We thought that the Minister of Home Affairs wouldn’t have the arbitrary right to decide what was to be a “prohibited object” in detention centres and would remain answerable to Parliament and the courts for his actions. We thought that people in immigration detention could keep their phones.

    But the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 is back.  It is in the Senate to be voted on this session.
    Write to the Independent Members of the Senate.
    Read more