When you have the privilege of working in international relations, there are some experiences that stay with you for life. There are the places you go and the people you meet. Conversations that start at the roundtable, continue into dinner, and often go late into the night. At airports and hotels,
For some people living in the Ampang district in eastern Kuala Lumpur, self-isolation is nothing new. The area is known for its concentration of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, nestled in the grimy apartments and neighbourhoods of this former tin mining centre, and they haven't been going out for a
The first case of Covid-19 was detected near the world’s largest refugee camp last month. Human rights groups fear it’s only matter of time before it spreads among the roughly one million Rohingya refugees living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
Having fled ethnic cleansing at the hands of the
As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, it is precipitating a series of other shocks, one of which is a crisis in human movement. Australia, as one of the key migrant-receiving nations globally, is particularly affected.
The migration crisis currently unfolding in Australia is primarily one of
Even before concern about the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 took hold, notions of migration “crises” and migration “panic” have been on the rise, partly fuelled by politicians in economically wealthy countries – what is termed the Global North – and exacerbated by some media
Sam Roggeveen has written a lively essay on the current state of Australian federal politics, centred on the hypothetical scenario that one of the two major parties takes an anti-immigration policy to an election, overturning Australia’s post-war bipartisan commitment to immigration to gain
In recent years, the world has witnessed a number of “black swan” events – surprises with massive implications for the particular countries involved and also the international system. The global financial crisis, Brexit, and the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency are the most
Last week, as the world’s attention fixed on the United States Capitol and the presidential impeachment inquiry, across the road in the US Supreme Court, another hugely consequential hearing was taking place. On 12 November, the court heard oral arguments for three cases related to the lawfulness
This is an edited and abridged transcript of the launch of Sam Roggeveen’s new Lowy Institute Paper Our Very Own Brexit, held last week at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne with prominent social commentator and award-winning journalist George Megalogenis. George MegalogenisNormally,
Review: Tim Watts, The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity (Text Publishing 2019)
Summer reading bins have been well stocked with memoirs by retired Australian parliamentarians casting experienced eyes over political lives lived hard and full. It’s not often we find engaging books
I’ve worked a lot in development areas, but I have never run a charity before. So, when I decided to set up a locally based international aid and development not-for-profit, it was with as much fear as hope. As an ex-player, I turned to football (soccer). The world’s leading team sport by
Earlier this year, French authorities intercepted a boat from Sri Lanka heading to Réunion Island, a journey of more than 4000 kilometres in the direction of Madagascar. Reports indicate this was not a one-off, and several of these trips were being planned.
The audacity of the journey is notable
In the first parliamentary sitting week following Australia’s recent election, a bill to amend the Migration Act was introduced and tabled in the House of Representatives. This follows the introduction of similar legislation in late 2018, which expired at the end of the previous parliament. With
Once confident predictions that the world’s population will reach 11 billion by the end of this century are beginning to be debunked. It is now appears more likely that the global population will hit a ceiling before reaching nine billion by mid-century, and then begin to decline.
When US President Donald Trump and former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull held their infamous, protocol-smashing phone call in the president’s first week in office in January 2017, largely lost in the international headlines about the exchange was the actual topic of conversation. Now,
To mark Mother’s Day on Sunday, The Interpreter invited contributors to write about their mothers who shaped world politics or were shaped by it.
Too often the “immigration debate” focuses on numbers, questions of infrastructure and congestion, and at its worst a sense of threat to “
Are the boats back? Once again a reliable fear of “uncontrolled” immigration has been invoked in an Australian federal election. This time current Prime Minister Scott Morrison has framed “border control” as a question of “congestion-busting” in major cities – and instead of the usual
The Irish campaign to gain access to the E-3 visa in the United States has roared back to life. Currently, Australia is the only country with access to the 10,500 E-3 visa slots. Yet Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who led a delegation of US legislators on a visit to
At 68.5 million people, it’s the 23rd largest population on earth. There is no healthcare system. Going to school is often illegal. There is no social welfare. Its people have no democratic representation.
Many are malnourished, poorly housed and have little access to basic
Since 2005, the annual Lowy Institute Poll has been tracking the attitudes of Australians to foreign policy issues and their place in the world. The issue of boat people, unauthorised asylum seekers, irregular maritime arrivals, refugees – the politics is so contested that it is difficult to find
On Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives passed a bill supporting the transfer of asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia for urgent medical care. The bill, initially put forward by independent MP Kerryn Phelps in late 2018, provides expanded capacities that allow two doctors
The case of Saudi teen Rahaf Al-Qunun dramatically demonstrates the difficulties many refugees face when attempting to escape the risk of harm at home and find safety elsewhere – whether they travel by leaky boat, or through international airports surrounded by business travellers and holiday-
The dramatic bid for asylum by Saudi Arabian teenager Rahaf al-Qanun became the focus of international attention this month when she barricaded herself into a hotel room in Bangkok airport after officials had told her that she would be deported to Kuwait. Al-Qanun took to social media, tweeting that
As the world’s eyes are focused on the unfolding Rohingya refugee crisis Bangladesh, to the east in India another danger may be brewing for the Rohingya Muslim community.
Over the past year since the latest wave of state-backed violence and displacement began in northern Myanmar, almost a
Imagine living on a low–lying atoll island in the Pacific and having just survived a severe cyclone. Your island is in ruins and you have lost everything. Humanitarian help is insufficient, your children need urgent medical care, but hospitals are not functioning, and your only hope is to join
At the Overseas Development Institute, Marta Foresti writes about the need to look for ways to “do migration differently”. Foresti argues that recent migration-related news such as the MS Aquarius stand-off and family separations in the US carry hard lessons about which approaches are working
This article is based on episodes 2 and 3 of the Good Will Hunters podcast, with Professor Paul James, former Director of UN Cities, and Beth Eggleston, Co-Founder and Director of the Humanitarian Advisory Group.
On 9 June, the first TEDx event to be held in a refugee camp took place in
629 migrants aboard the MS Aquarius were allowed ashore at Valencia, Spain, on 17 June, after a week-long ordeal resulting from the Italian government’s refusal to let the boat dock at any Italian port. The Aquarius, operated by Doctors Without Borders, had rescued the migrants from six
The rescue of a four-year-old child dangling from a balcony in Paris by a young migrant from Mali, Mamoudou Gassama, made global headlines. Gassama’s subsequent meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, who promised him the documentation needed to live legally in France, has sparked
At the Foreign Policy blog, Sophie Cousins discusses the impending monsoon in Bangladesh, pointing out that the Rohingya have fled one crisis for another. The monsoon is predicted to bring disease, landslides, and flash flooding to the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. At UNHCR, Yvonne Ndege
At the Council on Foreign Relations, Claire Felter and Amanda Shendruk explain “What is Temporary Protected Status?” In the past few months, US President Donald Trump has ended temporary protection status designations for Sudan, Nicaragua, Haiti, El Salvador, Nepal, and
A migrant caravan travelling from Honduras and other Central American countries to the US has reached the US–Mexico border. Most of the migrants plan to apply for asylum in America. The New York Times looks at the likelihood of their applications being granted. The agreement
A new study reveals that many of the world’s low-lying atolls, found mostly in the Pacific and Indian oceans, could be uninhabitable within decades. At The Guardian, Matthew Taylor looks at the implications of this for displacement and climate change–driven migration. The Economist has
A joint paper released this week from Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs, “Shaping a nation: Population growth and immigration over time”, examines the effects of migration on population growth and population distribution. The paper determines that migration has a positive
Conflicts in the Middle East and Africa are causing dramatic increases in internally displaced people and refugees across the world. According to estimates from UNHCR for 2016, 10.3 million people were newly displaced by conflict or persecution; 2 million new claims for asylum were lodged; and
At The New York Times, a data-rich interactive examines the myth that greater immigration levels lead to higer rates of crime. In December 2017, the Nauruan Government quietly ended an agreement that saw the High Court of Australia serve as the Pacific Island’s final court of appeal
The Council of Foreign Relations has created an excellent backgrounder to the immigration debate in the US, covering everything from how Americans feel about immigration to the prospects for immigration reform. Despite the Department of Home Affairs arguing against the decision, the Federal
In mid-2015 I was approached to work as a claims assistance provider at the Manus Regional Processing Centre. Initially, I was hesitant because I did not want to be part of an arrangement I believed was morally, if not legally, reprehensible. The processing of asylum seekers was of concern
In The New Yorker, Bernard Avishai claims that “the absence in Israeli law of an inclusively democratic conception of citizenship, let alone democratic criteria for immigration” underpins the current refugee situation in Israel, where the government will begin en masse deportations in April.&
In continuing analysis of this year’s Global Compact negotiations, Jennifer Gordon at Refugees Deeply looks at the need for the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees to overlap, in order to adequately address the issue of jobs for refugees. At the Centre for Global
This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Syrian conflict, and the new edition of Forced Migration Review focuses on displaced Syrians. This article from the issue, by Margarite Helena Zoetewij-Turhan, examines changes to Turkey’s asylum laws that are leaving the country
The zero draft of (or initial proposal for) the Global Compact on Refugees addresses internal displacement only in a footnote. A new post on the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre blog discusses three major reasons why internal displacement needs a more prominent place in the
Foreign aid fails to prevent emigration from developing countries, according to a new study from the Center for Global Development. The report finds that the capacity of aid to address the “root causes” of migration is “small at best”. Last Sunday, 22 asylum seekers from Nauru
The zero draft of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was released on Monday, following the release of the zero draft of the Global Compact on Refugees last week. The International Rescue Committee was among the first to offer an analysis, criticising the refugee compact
In The New York Times, a new report and photoessay offers a glimpse of life for asylum seekers in Indonesia awaiting resettlement. UNHCR has started to inform nearly 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers that finding a new home is highly unlikely, and that they should consider
The UNHCR released an updated fact sheet this week assessing the situation of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island, with physical security remaining a primary concern.
In further news from Manus Island, a second group of refugees has left for the US as part of the resettlement deal,
News Deeply has published a list of the top refugee issues to watch in 2018. The article names the refugee and migration compacts, the migration control policies of wealthy countries, the testing of alternative approaches, and questions over migrant returns as major discussion points for 2018
The International Organization for Migration has released the 2018 World Migration Report. More than 60 asylum seekers were transferred from Manus Island to Port Moresby this week for further meetings relating to a possible relocation to the United States. The New York Times identifies feelings
As a PNG police operation at the Manus Island detention centre continues, the UNHCR Regional Representative in Canberra has urged the Australian government's to take ongoing responsibility for refugees and asylum seekers on the island. Linda Bartolomei and Eileen Pittaway explain
This working paper examines the implications of digitalisation for skilled migration in high-income countries such as Australia and outlines key areas for policymakers in relation to the future of work and migration policy