Australian Immigrant and Refugee Issues
By Patrick O’Connor, 28 March 2013
The latest tragic deaths raise further questions about the culpability of Australian authorities.
By Mark Church, 16 March 2013
The Liberal opposition and Labor government are engaged in a vile competition to whip up anti-refugee and anti-foreigner xenophobia.
By Mike Head, 22 February 2013
The deaths in the Indian Ocean highlight the terrible plight of people trying to flee persecution throughout Asia and globally.
By Mark Church, 7 February 2013
The contents of the UN report are a further indictment of the policies enacted by the Labor government.
By Mike Head, 15 January 2013
The detainees face living for months in tents and converted shipping containers.
By Mike Head, 21 December 2012
A lawyer involved in 16 recent Sri Lankan deportation cases explains that methods being used by the government are unlawful.
By Mike Head, 14 December 2012
Gillard’s government is stepping up its partnership with the autocratic Sri Lankan regime to prevent refugee boats sailing from the island.
By Mark Church, 8 December 2012
Detainees are protesting against the barbaric conditions in the Pacific island camps, as well as the uncertainty surrounding their asylum claims.
By Mike Head, 22 November 2012
The Gillard government is increasingly violating the basic democratic rights of refugees, and repudiating any adherence to fundamental precepts of international law.
By Mark Church, 19 November 2012
Omid’s protest highlights the brutality of the Australian Labor government’s policy of transporting refugees to be detained indefinitely on Nauru.
By Mark Church, 10 November 2012
On the government’s instructions, Australian officials have refused to negotiate with the detainees over their asylum visa applications.
By Mark Church and Mike Head, 5 November 2012
Asylum seekers are protesting the appalling conditions on the island and the Australian government’s refusal to start processing their refugee claims.
By Patrick O’Connor, 31 October 2012
Australia will effectively become a legal black hole for refugees, undocumented workers, and anyone else without recognised legal status.
By Patrick O’Connor, 6 October 2012
Despite the unlawful character of the existing setup, none of the more than 50 detained refugees affected by adverse ASIO assessments will be released.
By Mike Head, 2 October 2012
Tamil asylum seekers are being coerced to return despite clear evidence of persecution and torture.
By Will Morrow and Mike Head, 20 September 2012
Prime Minister Gillard’s government has gone far beyond the so-called “Pacific Solution” of the previous Howard Liberal government.
By Will Morrow, 3 September 2012
The desperate act of protest is the inevitable outcome of the government’s refugee law changes.
By Mark Church, 31 August 2012
Only 54 people have survived the sinking, after being stranded in the water for almost 24 hours before help arrived.
By Patrick O’Connor, 17 August 2012
Late last night the Senate approved new laws, authorising the indefinite detention of refugees in Nauru, Papua New Guinea and elsewhere, in blatant violation of international law.
By Mike Head, 16 August 2012
The plan to incarcerate asylum seekers on remote Pacific islands is likely to pass the Senate today, just three days after Prime Minister Julia Gillard unveiled it.
By Patrick O’Connor, 14 August 2012
The new measures openly flout international law and mark a new benchmark in the Australian ruling elite’s contempt for basic democratic rights.
By Will Morrow, 31 July 2012
The government is clearly seeking to exploit the case to intimidate Tamil asylum seekers in Australia and deter others thinking about fleeing Sri Lanka.
By Mike Head, 21 July 2012
The People Smuggler puts a human face on those involved in refugee boat voyages, and exposes myths peddled by Australian governments.
By Patrick O’Connor, 29 June 2012
The basic legal principles governing the treatment of asylum seekers, which were developed after World War II and the Nazi holocaust, have been openly jettisoned.
By Patrick O’Connor and SEP candidate for Melbourne, 28 June 2012
Refugee deaths at sea will end only when asylum seekers are assured of safe passage to Australia.
By Oliver Campbell, 28 June 2012
The second refugee boat sinking in less than a week has underscored the deadly consequences of the Australian government’s “border protection” regime.
By Oliver Campbell, 23 June 2012
The refugee boat’s sinking is the latest in a series of tragedies that flows directly from the Australian government’s “border protection” policy.
By Patrick O’Connor, 16 June 2012
On October 3 2009, Customs and Border Protection waited nearly four hours before alerting rescue authorities that a refugee boat with 108 people on board was sinking.
By Patrick O’Connor, 15 June 2012
On October 3 2009, Australian Customs and Border Protection waited nearly four hours before alerting rescue authorities that a refugee boat carrying 108 people was sinking.
By Robert Morgan, 29 May 2012
The adverse intelligence assessments mean that more than 50 detained asylum seekers are trapped in a legal black hole with no means of challenging their imprisonment.
By Will Morrow, 30 December 2011
The suicides are a tragic consequence of the Labor government’s refugee policy of compulsory detention.
By Mark Church, 28 November 2011
Refugees aboard a stricken boat almost crashed onto rocky cliffs in stormy weather off Christmas Island, an Australian outpost in the Indian Ocean, on the evening of November 20.
By Will Morrow and Mike Head, 9 November 2011
Under the pretext of combatting “people smuggling,” the bill is clearly aimed at the asylum seekers who desperately attempt to get to Australia by purchasing places on board boats.
By Will Morrow, 2 November 2011
Late last night an overcrowded boat that was carrying more than 70 asylum seekers en route to Australia foundered off Java in Indonesia, killing at least 8 people.
By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 31 October 2011
The sinking of the SIEV X was not an isolated incident, but part of a fundamental political shift in Australia and around the world, marked by the abandonment of any adherence to democratic and legal norms.
By Will Morrow, 21 October 2011
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her ministers have sought to out-flank opposition leader Tony Abbott from the extreme right by blaming him for the arrival of new refugee boats.
By Richard Phillips and Linda Levin, 20 October 2011
The tenth anniversary of the worst tragedy in local maritime history, has been met with a deafening silence from Australia’s political elite.
Ten years since the SIEV X tragedy
By Linda Tenenbaum, 19 October 2011
Ten years ago, on October 19, 2001, a grossly overcrowded, unseaworthy boat carrying more than 400 asylum seekers sank in international waters between Indonesia and Australia’s Christmas Island.
By Patrick O’Connor, 6 September 2011
The overriding concern of big business is not refugee policy, but whether the Gillard government is capable of implementing the austerity and economic restructuring measures demanded of it.
By Patrick O’Connor, 2 September 2011
Gillard’s ability to remain as prime minister for much longer is now in serious doubt.
By Will Morrow, 4 August 2011
In a calculated bid to deter refugees from seeking protection, the Labor government plans to film the forced removal of the first group of refugees to Malaysia.
By Will Morrow, 2 August 2011
Protests by inmates, attempting to draw public attention to the abuse of their basic rights, are being met by police violence, arbitrary removal to prisons and legal threats.
By Will Morrow, 27 July 2011
Labor’s policy will send at least 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia, a country notorious for its mistreatment of refugees.
By Will Morrow, 25 July 2011
Further testimony points to the Labor government being culpable, whether through negligence, indifference or deliberate action, for the fate of the refugees swept onto the island’s rocky cliffs.
By Will Morrow, 22 July 2011
“Go back to where you came from” gave audiences—continually bombarded with anti-refugee propaganda by the media and politicians—an insight into the hardships faced by asylum seekers.
By Will Morrow, 7 July 2011
With the complicity of the Greens, the inquiry’s report cleared the Labor government of any responsibility whatsoever for the loss of at least 50 lives.
By Will Morrow and Mike Head, 17 June 2011
Yesterday’s events in parliament highlighted the tenuous existence of the minority Labor government and the reactionary character of its refugee policy.
By Will Morrow, 13 June 2011
Although the police claimed to have had no choice but to open fire on Thursday night, the conflict appears to have resulted from a definite plan to crush opposition to the escalating number of visa refusals.
By Patrick O’Connor, 10 June 2011
The self-declared “progressive” wing of the Australian political establishment has trumpeted its concern for the country’s cattle, while maintaining a deafening silence on the deportation of refugees to Malaysia and the war in Libya.
By Will Morrow, 8 June 2011
Evidence at a coronial inquest shows that the Gillard government refused to prepare for the foreseeable tragedy and is covering up the events surrounding last December’s Christmas Island disaster.
By Mike Head, 7 June 2011
The Labor government has not only re-iterated its determination to proceed with the plan, but declared that there would be no exceptions for unaccompanied minors and pregnant women.
By Will Morrow, 31 May 2011
UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay publicly criticised the Labor government’s recently announced “Malaysian solution”.
By Susan Allan, 30 May 2011
Aborigines, the most oppressed section of the working class, were used as a test case for punitive measures against welfare recipients nationally.
By Will Morrow, 21 May 2011
In a flagrant breach of international law, authorities have locked up newly-arrived asylum seekers, refused to process their refugee applications and are preparing to deport them to other countries.
By Will Morrow, 12 May 2011
The blatant purpose of Gillard’s deal with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is to deter refugees from exercising their rights under international law to seek political asylum.
By Will Morrow, 27 April 2011
The amendments will introduce new temporary protection visas and pave the way for the deportation of refugees who join protests inside Australia’s detention centres.
By Will Morrow, 25 April 2011
One hundred asylum seekers at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre rioted last week over their lengthy detention and rejected asylum claims.
By Will Morrow, 30 March 2011
The fifth suicide in the past seven months has cast more light on the Labor government’s inhuman treatment of asylum seekers.
By Will Morrow and Richard Phillips, 23 March 2011
Christmas Island residents and refugee advocates have denounced the Gillard government’s repressive actions and the provocative measures taken by its detention facility contractor, Serco.
By Carolyn Kennett and SEP candidate for Auburn, 19 March 2011
The Gillard Labor government this week mobilised federal police to violently attack protesting detainees inside the remote Christmas Island facility.
By Alex Messenger, 1 March 2011
For months, the Gillard Labor government suppressed these statistics, fearing renewed public opposition to its anti-refugee measures.
By Zac Hambides, 17 February 2011
The Gillard government organised burial services in Sydney for eight of the victims of the December 15 disaster, in which up to 50 asylum seekers died after their boat crashed on remote Christmas Island.
By Zac Hambides, 4 February 2011
The findings of an Australian Customs inquiry have been used by the Gillard government to absolve itself of any responsibility for the deaths of up to 50 refugees on December 15.
By Patrick O'Connor, 23 December 2010
The deaths of an estimated 50 men, women, and children in the December 15 refugee boat disaster off the coast of Australia, is the latest devastating consequence of the Labor government’s militarised “border protection” regime.
By Patrick O’Connor, 20 December 2010
Refugees in one of three detention centres located on Christmas Island staged multiple demonstrations on Friday, desperately appealing for international assistance and accusing Australian authorities of responsibility for the boat’s sinking.
By Patrick O’Connor, 17 December 2010
The Labor government has declared that no government, military, or intelligence agency had been tracking the refugee vessel that sank off Christmas Island on Wednesday, killing at least 30 people. Its statement has raised more serious questions about the unexplained failure of authorities to intercept the boat.
By Patrick O’Connor, 16 December 2010
Serious questions are being raised about the direct culpability of the Gillard Labor government and Australian authorities in yesterday’s horrific sinking of a boat carrying up to 100 refugees off the shore of Christmas Island.
By Alex Messenger, 2 December 2010
The Gillard government is preparing plans to overcome a unanimous ruling by Australia’s highest court, which declared that detained asylum seekers have the right to legally challenge refusals to grant them protection visas.
By Mike Head, 23 November 2010
About 230 asylum seekers have joined a hunger strike that began last Tuesday inside the detention camp on Christmas Island, a remote Indian Ocean territory. The detainees are protesting the lengthy delays in the processing of their claims for protection visas, and the Labor government’s high rejection rate of their applications.
By Mike Head, 18 November 2010
A tragic suicide by an asylum seeker inside Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre has highlighted the inhumanity of the mandatory detention regime that is being continuously expanded by the Gillard Labor government.
By Mike Head, 23 October 2010
Prime Minister Julia Gillard this week signalled the development of an extended detention regime, including hundreds of children housed in so-called community detention.
By Carolyn Kennett, 23 September 2010
Desperate protests by asylum seekers in the wake of the suicide of Josefa Rauluni, a Fijian detainee at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre last Monday, have been met with complete indifference by the Gillard Labor government.
By our reporters, 23 September 2010
WSWS reporters spoke to local people who had gathered outside the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre on Tuesday to support protesting asylum seekers.
By Carolyn Kennett, 21 September 2010
On the day he was due to be deported, Josefa Rauluni, a 36-year-old Fijian man, died after throwing himself off the roof of the Villawood detention centre in Sydney’s western suburbs.
By Mike Head, 1 September 2010
The desperate protests in Darwin highlight the barbaric character of the Labor government’s mandatory detention regime, which imprisons refugees and their boat crews, without trial, in violation of elementary legal and democratic rights.
By Leticia Marshall, 31 August 2010
An asylum seeker held at the Curtin detention centre in the remote north-west of Western Australia died on August 22 at Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
By Nick Beams, 9 July 2010
Announcing the revamping of the Australian government’s asylum seeker policy on Tuesday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard drew deeply from the well of nationalist, xenophobic and racist doctrines that has been a central source of the policies and ideology of the Australian Labor Party throughout its 120-year history.
By Patrick O’Connor, 8 July 2010
In a speech delivered Tuesday to the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Gillard announced that her government would seek to prevent refugees travelling in boats from reaching Australia.
By Mike Head, 26 June 2010
The Gillard government is deporting a Sydney-based Muslim cleric, insisting that he has no right to know why the intelligence agency has branded him a security risk.
By Mike Head, 22 June 2010
As many as 170 people are thought to have died trying to reach Australia since the Labor government took office in 2007.
By Mike Head, 26 May 2010
Two reports released last week further undermined the pretext given by the Australian government for its suspension of all refugee visa applications from Sri Lanka.
By Mike Head, 13 May 2010
Five Australia-bound asylum seekers perished in the Indian Ocean after apparently setting themselves adrift in a desperate bid to find a passing ship when their wooden fishing boat ran out of fuel, food and drinking water.
By Mike Head, 23 April 2010
Media commentators and politicians distorted the coroner’s findings to falsely accuse refugees of deliberately blowing up their boat.
By Mike Head, 20 April 2010
The Rudd government is re-opening a notorious refugee detention camp in Australia’s far north.
By Mike Head, 12 April 2010
In a move that is unprecedented internationally, the Rudd Labor government on Friday announced an immediate suspension of all refugee applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
By Mike Head, 2 February 2010
Early evidence at a coronial inquest into the deaths of five Afghan asylum seekers last April has confirmed that the men were victims of the Rudd government’s ruthless “border protection” policies.
By Mike Head, 20 January 2010
No one in the media, or refugee advocacy and civil liberties circles, has condemned the Rudd government for using ASIO’s ruling to reject the Tamils.
By Mike Head, 14 January 2010
In a sign of close collaboration with the Sri Lankan regime, the Labor government has denied refugee visas to five Tamils for alleged security reasons.
By Perla Astudillo, 13 January 2010
The fatal stabbing of a 21-year-old Indian student in Melbourne has again focussed international attention on the appalling conditions endured by many overseas students in Australia.
By Richard Phillips, 7 January 2010
The death of a 29-year-old asylum-seeker Jacob Christin in an Indonesian hospital on December 23 is another tragedy caused by the Australian government’s refugee policies.
By Mike Head, 24 November 2009
Fears of imminent deportations, aggravated by increasing over-crowding, triggered a riot on Saturday night inside the refugee detention centre on Australia’s Christmas Island.
By Mike Head, 20 November 2009
The refusal by Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to disembark in Indonesia from an Australian Customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, has triggered an extraordinary political crisis for the Australian Labor government.
By Mike Head, 18 November 2009
The real face of the Rudd government’s hoped-for “Indonesian solution” for asylum seekers began to emerge last week. Indonesian police shot and seriously wounded two men trying to reach Australia aboard an Afghan asylum seekers’ boat.
By Richard Phillips, 13 November 2009
By reaching a deal with Colombo—that is, with the regime responsible for the oppression of Tamils—the Australian Labor government is legitimising its police state measures and nullifying the basic right of all people to seek asylum under international law.
By Wije Dias, 6 November 2009
The plight of Tamils living in intolerable conditions in Sri Lanka has been brought into sharp relief by the tragic drowning of 12 Tamil asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia in a small vessel.
By Mathew Benn, 3 November 2009
A rally called by the Refugee Action Committee to protest the Labor government’s callous treatment of refugees was dominated by futile appeals for “compassion” from Prime Minister Rudd.
By Richard Phillips, 2 November 2009
Two weeks after an Australian customs ship rescued 78 Tamil asylum seekers, the unresolved standoff over their future has focussed attention on the Labor government’s inhumane and illegal treatment of refugees.
By Richard Phillips, 28 October 2009
The Rudd government is planning an “Indonesian solution” paying Jakarta to incarcerate refugees intercepted while trying to reach Australia.
By Richard Phillips, 17 October 2009
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s response to the Tamil refugees is completely predictable and reflects the views of the entire political establishment, from the crisis ridden Liberal-National coalition to the corporate media and the unions.
By Richard Phillips, 12 October 2009
In line with the previous Liberal-National coalition administration, the Australian Labor government has begun deporting refugees it claims do not qualify as asylum-seekers.