Select Page

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   |  12 October, 2018


Australia urged to immediately evacuate its off-shore facilities. UNHCR today added its voice to mounting calls for the Australian government to move refugees and asylum-seekersfrom its off-shore facilities in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. “Australia remains responsible under international law for those who have sought its protection,” said UNHCR spokesperson Catherine Stubberfield. “In the context of deteriorating health and reduced medical care, Australia must now act to prevent further tragedy.” Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also called for evacuations and for an end to Australia’s off-shore asylum processing policy on Thursday after being ordered to cease its mental health services on Nauru earlier this week. MSF said that at least 78 of its patients on Nauru had considered or attempted suicide or self-harm in the past 11 months while UNHCR noted that in September this year, more refugees and asylum-seekers had to be medically evacuated from Nauru to Australia than in the preceding two years combined. UNHCR said there was an urgent need to evacuate all refugees and asylum-seekers from Australia’s offshore facilities.

Over 1,400 migrants and asylum-seekers abandoned in Arizona desert. In recent weeks, smugglers have been abandoning large groups of Central American migrants and asylum-seekers in Arizona’s harsh Sonoran Desert near the Mexican border. According to Border Patrol officials, since 20 August, more than 1,400 people have been discovered in remote border areas, many of them families and unaccompanied minors and often in groups as large as 275 people. “We’ve seen large groups in the past, but never on this scale,” a border patrol agent told AP. US Immigration and Control Enforcement in Arizona began releasing hundreds of people on Sunday, saying it didn’t have the capacity to hold an “incredibly high volume” of families arriving at the border.


Plight of Syrians stranded in Rukban worsens. Thousands of people stranded on Jordan’s border with Syria in Rukban are running out of food as the Syrian army cuts off supply routes to the camp, which has an estimated 45,000 inhabitants, mostly women and children. The head of the civil affairs council that runs the camp told Reuters that in the last week, only very small amounts of food were being brought in by smugglers. Jordan stopped aid deliveries to the camp over its border earlier this year after the Syrian government recovered territory around the camp. The UN is urging all parties to the conflict to allow safe, sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access those in need in line with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.

Bavaria’s education programmes for refugees offer possible blueprint for Germany. Reuters reports from the southern German state of Bavaria, where local politicians have been among the harshest critics of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming approach to refugees, but have also put in place one of Germany’s most accommodating education programmes for asylum-seekers . As part of a strategy aimed at getting the newcomers into work as soon as possible, Bavaria has spent hundreds of millions of euros since 2015 hiring more than 2,000 German language teachers and this year allocated 938 million euros to the state’s integration efforts. The effort appears to be paying off with higher employment rates among the state’s asylum-seekers than anywhere else in Germany.

Refugees girls talk about why their rights matter. To make International Day of the Girl yesterday, Elle UK spoke to three girls from war-torn countries about why their rights matter and their dreams for the future . “I’d love to make a new astrological discovery. If not, I’ll just stay in this camp in dream,” says Bodoor, a 17-year-old Syrian refugee now living in Jordan. Fatima, 12, lost both her parents during last year’s violent crackdown in Myanmar and now lives with her uncle and aunt in a camp in Bangladesh. She says girls’ rights matter because it allows them to get an education and have some say over when and who they marry. Hanin, 15, lives with the constant noise and threat of bombing, but “going to school makes me feel powerful”.


Take a minute to listen to what Hafizah would like you to know about refugee girls like her.


Rates of depression, anxiety and PTSD among refugees forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea and Nauru are over 80 per cent — the highest recorded in medical literature to date.