Behind the Wire is an oral history project documenting the stories of men, women and children who have experienced Australian mandatory detention over the past 22 years. It seeks to bring a new perspective to the public understandings of mandatory detention by sharing the reality of the people who have lived it. [more inside]
First you had changing the Australian migration zone, then the Pacific Solution, and then boat turnbacks (and paying people smugglers for the same - a policy supported by both major parties), and then a murder in custody on Manus Island, and then allegations of rape, trafficking and traumatising children (some of whom try to hang themselves at 6yo) and spying on parliamentary oversight, and now a whistleblower says staff members at the Australian detention centre on Nauru - "a diverse workforce and provides continuing cultural awareness training" - employed waterboarding on asylum-seekers. [more inside]
The UN has released a report finding that Australian policies may breach the international convention against torture. Prime Minister Tony Abbott's response? "I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations." * Not so much. Meanwhile, thousands of letters of support to detainees in Nauru have been returned, undelivered. [more inside]
I am on the western edge of the United States-Mexico border to understand more about the most publicised and most crossed border in the world. Ben Stubbs visits one of the most notorious borders in the world and reflects on Australia's frontier issues.
For the first time, photographs have leaked out from inside the Nauru immigration detention centre. Reopened in 2012, the detention centre houses between 500-600 people, mostly of Iranian background, who are attempting to seek asylum in Australia. The centre was most recently in the news following riots that destroyed much of the facility's infrastructure. Conditions at the center have been criticised by the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights as "unbearable".
Undercover journalists publish firsthand account of asylum seeker journey to Australia An undercover journalist has detailed how he and a photographer posed as asylum seekers and took an epic journey from Afghanistan's shady currency markets to Jakarta and on to a flimsy open-decked wooden boat that delivered 57 desperate people to Christmas Island.
Australia in 2013. We have forgotten our origins and our good fortune, we are blind to our own selfishness. In place of memory we cling to a national myth of a generous, welcoming country, a land of new arrivals where everyone gets a fair go; a myth in which vanity fills the emptiness where the truth was forgotten. -- Julian Burnside writes on refugee policy and alienation in Australia [more inside]
A Government-convened expert group has suggested that Australia return to the so-called Pacific Solution to deal with its asylum-seeker conundrum, and break a political impasse. [more inside]
Six westerners make the same journey that thousands of desperate people make every year to Australia, but in reverse. [more inside]
After suspending all asylum applications from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, the Australian Government has made a series of confronting youtube videos showing the dangers of the sea, and the arrest and detention of asylum seekers. [more inside]