Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Immigration links: disputed Rohingya repatriations, sporting refugees, and more

Links and updates from across the migration and border policy field.

Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar. (Photo: UN Women/Flickr)
Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar. (Photo: UN Women/Flickr)
Published 20 Apr 2018   Follow @ErinHarrisAU

  • A joint paper released this week from Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs, “Shaping a nation: Population growth and immigration over time”, examines the effects of migration on population growth and population distribution. The paper determines that migration has a positive economic effect, but that more attention needs to be paid how geographic distribution heightens pressures on infrastructure, housing, and the environment.
  • UNHCR has this week expressed concern about the escalating ethnic violence in Mali that has driven approximately 3000 people into neighbouring Burkina Faso, with more expected to arrive.
  • A new Lowy Institute working paper examines the possibility of using legal labour migration as a complementary pathway for humanitarian migrants, finding that Australia is in a good position to lead the discussion.
  • The saga around refugee deportations in Israel continues. This week Israel freed 200 asylum seekers who were to be deported to Uganda. Uganda has repeatedly denied an agreement existed with Israel, and has even accused Israel of forging travel documents for the asylum seekers. This follows Israel’s release of 58 asylum seekers earlier this month, after a similar agreement with Rwanda collapsed.
  • At the Center for Global Development, a new Policy Brief investigates protracted displacement, looking at what policies are working, and making four overarching recommendations for positive change in refugee and host communities.
  • Myanmar has claimed that Rohingya repatriations have begun, in an announcement that has been rejected by both Bangladesh and UNHCR. Bangladeshi authorities have stated that the family Myanmar is claiming to have repatriated never made it to Bangladesh. UNHCR has denied any knowledge of the family, or involvement in any repatriations.
  • The idea of resettling refugees in developing countries to save costs is “a B. S. argument … while one could maybe make that kind of rational argument, it’s philosophically and morally unjust”. So says Madeleine Albright in this interview for ICRC’s Displaced podcast.
  • As the US retaliates against chemical weapons usage in Syria, NPR has reported that State Department figures show the US has accepted only 11 Syrian asylum seekers in 2018, and only 44 in the six months since October last year. By contrast, the US resettled 15,479 Syrian refugees in 2016, and 3024 in 2017.
  • Following reports that several Cameroonian athletes had left the Commonwealth Games village with the possible intention of seeking asylum in Australia, Mary Anne Kenny has written for The Conversation about the long history of athletes at large-scale sporting events seeking asylum.
  • In this short video from the Overseas Development Institute, the UN Special Representative for International Migration discusses ways to challenge the negative perceptions of migration, and the importance of doing so.

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