Opinion pieces


To Close Camps, Australia Must Not Send Asylum Seekers Back to Danger

Professor Jane McAdam

First published in Refugees Deeply

Following reports of forced deportations from Manus Island, Jane McAdam, director of UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, explains why asylum seekers at the Australian-run offshore detention center have not had a fair chance of gaining refugee status.

Searching for Truth in all the Hidden Places

Madeline Gleeson

First published in Sydney PEN Magazine, November Issue 2016.

To be able to write, and to have your words read, is a great privilege.

Asylum seekers will welcome another New Year still in limbo

Madeline Gleeson

First published in The Age, 13 December 2016.

The remote Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus Island will be among the first places in the world to celebrate the arrival of 2017. Some 1500 refugees and asylum seekers will be there to greet it, stranded in a combination of semi-detention and community residences. Four New Years into their offshore limbo, yet little closer to knowing what this one will bring.

How do we deal with the prospect of increased climate migration?

Professor Jane McAdam

First published in The Conversation, 1 December 2016.

On average, one person is displaced each second by a disaster-related hazard. In global terms, that’s about 26 million people a year. 

Most move within their own countries, but some are forced across international borders. As climate change continues, more frequent and extreme weather events are expected to put more people in harm’s way. 

After Trump’s Election, We Need to Get Creative on the Refugee Crisis


After a series of global summits on the refugee crisis, America elected Donald Trump. Elizabeth Ferris, who helped prepare the UN refugee summit, considers whether that progress is ruined, or if lack of US leadership will bring urgency to other players and policy ideas.

Defending the Refugee Convention

Professor Jane McAdam

First published in The Saturday Paper, 19 November 2016

It is 65 years since the Refugee Convention was adopted. This year, there are 65 million displaced people in the world. The synchronicity of those figures would have caused the drafters of the convention grave concern. The Refugee Convention was intended to provide a consistent and predictable means of granting refugees a legal status, and thus a means of finding a durable solution, whether through local integration, resettlement or voluntary repatriation.

What if other countries copied Australia's border security example?

Frances Voon

First published in the Lowy Interpreter.

Two international summits held in New York this week were intended to generate fresh political will and substantial new pledges to bolster the international response to refugees. Australia's contribution to these summits was not only inadequate, it demonstrated a fundamental misconception of the requirements of international cooperation for refugee protection.

Photo: Getty Images/Anadolu Agency