First published in the Sydney Morning Herald, January 20, 2020
In a landmark decision, the UN Human Rights Committee has found it is unlawful for governments to send people back to countries where climate change impacts expose people to life-threatening risks or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. It has taken 25 years of case law to get to this point.
Australia’s bushfire crisis has seen some of the largest-scale evacuations in the country’s history. Thousands of people have fled their homes and properties to find safety elsewhere, including some 1,300 people rescued by the Navy from the fire-ravaged Victorian coastal town of Mallacoota. Others are sheltering in temporary evacuation centres or staying with friends or relatives until it is safe to return home.
First published in The Conversation, 18 July 2019.
Nearly six years into the revival of its offshore detention policy, Australia’s government is facing a story of corporate and administrative intrigue that highlights the utter unsustainability of our current approach to people seeking our protection.
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-makers. Sometimes the dangers for refugees in transit are presented by the very people from whom they seek protection.
Dr Tamara Wood
First published in The Conversation, 9 January 2019
Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s story has travelled around the world this week, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s repressive treatment of women and that not only those who seek asylum by sea face perilous journeys to safety.