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Government Should End Harmful Offshore Policy

This Sunday marks the seventh anniversary of Australia’s disastrous decision to resume its policy of transferring asylum seekers offshore. Since July 2013, Australia has forcibly transferred more than 3,000 asylum seekers who traveled there by boat to…
Asylum seekers and refugees hold placards during protest against their detention at Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, amid the Covid-19 crisis.
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Regardless of if you look at United States, Europe, or the Pacific, the global asylum system is quickly falling apart.

The broad outlines of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy veers from build-a-wall isolationism to jingoistic sabre rattling, but in one dimension it has been sadly consistent: the stance that refugees should…
Demonstrators march outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. as part of a protest against the US government's refugee ban in New York on March 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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Imagine that your parents fled their country with you 30 years ago, when you were a baby. The country where you live is the only place you have ever known and your own children were born there. But you wake up one day and…
Five returning Afghan refugee children wait for their parents to register at the UN refugee agency’s support center outside Kabul after being forced out of Pakistan in October 2016. Almost 600,000 Afghans, including 360,000 registered refugees, returned h
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UN Refugee Agency Complicit in Government Coercion

(Kabul) – Pakistani authorities have carried out a campaign of abuses and threats to drive out nearly 600,000 Afghans since July 2016, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The returnees include 365,000 registered refugees, making it the…
An Afghan refugee family forced out of Pakistan stands by a hired truck laden with their possessions after an overnight journey, October 2016
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Summary  “No matter who you are, your heart will turn black with so much abuse.” -Afghan refugee, 25, returning to Afghanistan, November 2016 For most of the past 40 years, Pakistan has hosted well over a million Afghans, among the…
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Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centers in neighboring countries. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt,…
2016-08-crd-nauru-child protest
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A Well-Earned Rebuke From the UN Children’s Rights Committee

The government of Nauru went to Geneva last month to defend the indefensible: its complicity with Australia’s offshore detention and processing of refugees. Unsurprisingly, its effort was unsuccessful. In a blistering report issued today, the…
Refugee children on Nauru protest Australia’s offshore detention operations, August 2016.
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Abuses, Harassment Force Afghans Home to Danger

(New York) – Pakistani authorities should cease coercive measures and other abuses that are driving tens of thousands of Afghan refugees from Pakistan. The Pakistani government should extend legal residency status to Afghan refugees…
Afghan refugees are seen at UNHCR’s Voluntary Repatriation Centre in Peshawar, Pakistan, June 23, 2016. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
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Six Danish parliamentarians had planned to travel to the remote Pacific island of Nauru this week for a first-hand view of Australia’s offshore asylum operations. Their visit could have been an important one because access to the island is severely…
Held by Australia on Nauru for three years, a refugee girl chooses freedom as what she most needs, August 2016.
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Australia’s Offshore Refugee Processing Center Is No Model for Europe

True to form, this week Nauru abruptly canceled the visas of three out of six Danish lawmakers shortly before they were to visit the tiny Pacific island nation and examine Australia’s offshore refugee processing operations there.  …
Refugee children held on Nauru protest Australia’s offshore detention, August 2016.
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Halt Summary Returns, Beatings, Robbery of Asylum Seekers

(Budapest) – Bulgarian law enforcement officials summarily return asylum seekers and migrants to Turkey, often after stealing their belongings and subjecting them to violence. In research in six countries between October and…
2016-1-eca-bulgaria-fence
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President Barack Obama repeated in his state of the union address his longstanding promise “to keep working to shut down Guantanamo.” He should, and Congress should work with him to do that.  Guantanamo Bay has come to symbolize indefinite…
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Amid an influx of Iraqis and Syrians into Europe, the West is neglecting another group of refugees also in desperate need of help.

TOVARNIK, Croatia — Rajab Ali, a 16-year-old Hazara boy from Afghanistan’s Bamyan province, was silently weeping when we found him standing at the last remaining opening in the 12-foot-high razor-wire border fence Hungary has constructed on its…
Afghan Refugees
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In the United States, the front-running Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, accuses the Mexican government of “forcing their most unwanted people into the United States … criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.” In the United…
calais migrants police