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Migration and border policy links: Australian citizenship test, Italian elections, and more

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

Forced to grow up too soon in Lebanon: Mahmoud (Photo: UNHCR Photo Unit/Flickr)
Forced to grow up too soon in Lebanon: Mahmoud (Photo: UNHCR Photo Unit/Flickr)
Published 9 Mar 2018   Follow @ErinHarrisAU

  • In continuing analysis of this year’s Global Compact negotiations, Jennifer Gordon at Refugees Deeply looks at the need for the Global Compact for Migration and the Global Compact on Refugees to overlap, in order to adequately address the issue of jobs for refugees. At the Centre for Global Development, Kate Gough discusses what we can expect from the next five months of compact negotiations.
  • In the wake of the Italian elections, where it seems likely Italy is headed for some combination of right-wing alliance, The New Yorker has written about the collapse of the Italian centre – identifying anti-immigrant feeling as a key factor in the election results.
  • In Australia’s first week as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has handed down a report criticising countries, including Australia, whose immigration policies involve arbitrary, protracted and/or indefinite detention. Meanwhile, during a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterated her government’s offer to resettle asylum seekers left on Manus and Nauru.
  • Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge has put the idea of an Australian citizenship test for new migrants back on the agenda this week, after the first iteration of the test was voted down in the Senate in 2017. The proposed new version will include expanded English language testing and a required demonstration of commitment to Australian values.
  • The Washington Post has reported on the lives of Syrian refuges in Lebanon whose fate is determined by whether or not they obtain official refugee registration through UNHCR. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has promised not to force Syrian refugees to return to Syria; however, the status of unregistered refugees remains unclear. The plight of Syrians in Lebanon is compounded by the problematic use of vulnerability assessments, write Maja Janmyr and Lama Mourad in the latest edition of Forced Migration Review.
  • A report from Human Rights Watch has determined that some 13,000 asylum seekers remain trapped in deplorable and unprotected conditions in the Aegean Islands. The report calls on the Greek Government to immediately move them to the safety of the mainland.
  • In the US, the Trump administration has filed a lawsuit against California for allegedly interfering with the administration’s enforcement of immigration laws. The suit is aimed at ending California’s “sanctuary” policies which effectively shield undocumented immigrants from deportation.
  • Artist Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow – a documentary aiming to visually communicate the scale of the global refugee crisis – is playing at the Sydney Opera House (as part of the Biennale of Sydney), and Cinema Nova in Melbourne this month, along with Q&As with Ai himself. The documentary trailer is below.

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