On the 26 November 2019, the Kaldor Centre hosted its sixth annual conference, entitled 'Good decisions: Achieving fairness in refugee law, policy and practice'. This panel discussion focused on deciding refugee claims. It explored how procedures and processes affect the way decisions are made, and the impacts they have on the lives of those affected by them. It was chaired by Om Dhungel, consultant, trainer and a former refugee from Bhutan.
On 26 November 2019, the Kaldor Centre hosted its sixth annual conference, entitled 'Good decisions: Achieving fairness in refugee law, policy and practice'. This panel discussion focused on how decisions that shape our laws and public policy must result in fair, transparent and protection-oriented outcomes.This session explored the interaction (and dissonance) between public attitudes on refugees, the lived experiences of refugees, and sweeping Ministerial powers to decide refugees’ fates without judicial oversight or review. It was chaired by Abdul Karim Hekmat, a freelance journalist and former refugee from Afganistan.
Politically, ‘stop the boats’ has been a winning slogan. But such policy in action is harsh and out of step with Australia’s international responsibilities. Around the world there are examples of safe ways for people to seek asylum without risking dangerous journeys, initiatives called complementary pathways.
It was the day after Australia's 27th Governor-General was sworn in, and Dr Kerryn Phelps AM noted his words as she launched the new book from Kaldor Centre Director Jane McAdam and Fiona Chong, Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: ‘He said, Australians are good people, well-intentioned people. I ran that through my internal logic filter, and found myself thinking, That's how we like to think of ourselves, but…’
When Australians talk about people seeking asylum, the discussion tends to be 'emotional and often not very thought through', but the Kaldor Centre Principles for Australian Refugee Policy challenge us to change that debate, said UNSW Chancellor David Gonski AC as he launched the evidence-based policy agenda on 13 June at Wotton + Kearney in Sydney.