refugee rights

There are countless reports from NGOs, scientists and government agencies on climate refugees.

For example, last year more than 2 million people had to gather their possessions and flee as floods hit the Yangtze River in China. But, despite this becoming one of the world’s greatest issues there is very little activism around climate refugees in the developed world.

At the closing of the World Peoples' Conference on June 21 in Tiquipaya, Bolivia, social movements called for a “world without walls,” while Bolivian President Evo Morales urged social movements to adopt the progressive proposals of the gathering's final declaration, which dubbed the migration crisis as just one symptom of neoliberal globalisation. 

Victorian teachers, education support staff, academics, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals will take action over the first week of May to support refugees who have been detained by the Australian government.

The “Bring them Here” action will involve four groups of unionists wearing T-shirts to work and elsewhere. The four unions will also hold a rally in the CBD.

The action was initiated by Teachers for Refugees (TFR), a rank-and-file group within the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU).

Bolivia’s government and social movements have announced they will host a global people’s summit on migrants and refugee rights. The "People’s Conference for a World without Walls and Universal Citizenship", set for June 20 and 21, is expected to draw together immigration experts and pro-migrant and refugee rights organisations and activists from around the world.

This year marks 25 years of resistance to the escalating human rights abuses of Australia’s mandatory detention laws. A whole generation has now lived under this policy and are constantly exploring new and inspiring ways of rejecting it.

One area that has not been explored, at least in recent years, and that offers a lot of potential is campaigning for university campuses to become organising spaces, welcome zones and sanctuaries.

The world has reacted in anger, solidarity and protest to US President Donald Trump’s Muslim immigration ban.

Taxi drivers have gone on strike, major corporations such as Google are condemning it and protests continue at airports across the US.

Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Theresa May, not known as advocates for human rights, are speaking up in opposition.

Refugee rights activists in the Illawarra dropped off nearly 300 postcards at the Wollongong office of local MP Sharon Bird on November 18.

The postcards call on Labor to close the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres and bring the refugees to Australia.

Jasmine Pilbrow, a refugee rights activist who tried to stop the deportation of a Tamil asylum seeker, was sentenced on November 11 to a two-year good behaviour bond. No conviction was recorded.

In February last year, Pilbrow was among a group of activists trying to prevent the deportation of asylum seeker Puvaneethan.

She bought a ticket on his flight and once on board distributed flyers and refused to sit down unless he was allowed off the flight.

She was arrested by AFP officers and later charged with interfering with a cabin crew member and found guilty.

Celebrations of multiculturalism happened in 26 cities and rural locations across Australia on October 22 as part of Welcome to Australia events organised under the theme of “Walking together to welcome refugees”.

In Sydney, helium balloons, musical performances, bright red shirts and smiles gave it a carnival like atmosphere. For some it would have been their first refugee rights event.

In a backdown by the federal government on one of the most contentious elements of the Australian Border Force Act, health professionals have been removed from the definition of “immigration and border protection workers”. This leaves them free to speak out about conditions and medical treatment in Australia’s immigration detention system.

Refugee activists attended a meeting on October 3 to discuss strategy for the refugee rights movement.

The meeting was organised by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) in response to an article written by Robert Manne, Tim Costello, Frank Brennan and John Menadue calling for a "compromise" solution to "our refugee crisis".

RAC invited Manne to speak at the forum. Chris Breen spoke on behalf of RAC.

Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek's office fence on Broadway in Ultimo was adorned with cardboard cut-outs of children trapped behind bars on August 15, with some holding messages urging that the refugees be bought to Australia. The Sydney-based action was part of more than 40 nation-wide that were initiated by Love Makes A Way and organised by local groups, including the Uniting Church.
Ravi’s book “From Hell to Hell” is an account of his experiences as an asylum seeker in Nauru detention center for three years through poetry and drawings. Since getting released from detention and been able to breathe his “freedom oxygen”, he has had numerous book launches in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. With the aim of raising awareness of what asylum seekers are going though in Nauru detention center and encourage people to take action. Watch the interview here:
This interview with Amnesty International's Australian refugee coordinator Graham Thom, was broadcast on Radio 3CR in Melbourne on March 4. * * * Amnesty International has put out a media release criticising the Australian government's draconian laws against refugees. Why did you do that?
“Thank you for these protests. We love you and our hearts are with you in this moment.” This message was sent from a refugee inside Northam Detention Centre in West Australia to activists who were protesting outside in 2014. Messages like this inspire many of us to get active and persist with campaigns to make the world more humane. A whole generation, to which I belong, has only known mandatory detention: it was introduced by “left” Labor immigration minister Gerry Hand in 1992.
Hundreds of pro-refugee protesters rallied in Melbourne on February 27, calling on political leaders to let refugees stay and close the prison camps. The action was called in response to a visit by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition leader Bill Shorten to the Lonsdale St Greek Festival. People chanted “Turnbull, Shorten. Blood on your hands” and “Let them stay" as they arrived on the stage. The action was called by Refugee Action Collective and First Nations Liberation.

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