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Journal Cover Cosmopolitan Civil Societies : An Interdisciplinary Journal
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1837-5391
   Published by U of Technology Sydney Homepage  [7 journals]
  • Limited Resettlement and Ongoing Uncertainty: responses to and experiences
           of people seeking asylum in Australia and Indonesia

    • Authors: Caroline Fleay, Lisa Hartley
      Abstract: In the wake of the Coalition Government’s narrow victory in the first Australian election since the adoption of policies known as Operation Sovereign Borders, this special edition of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies focuses its attention on the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers1 . It explores some of the experiences of people both in Australia and Indonesia who are seeking a life of safety, as well as the responses of civil society groups and governments, following the commencement of policies that have vastly reduced the opportunities for refugee resettlement in Australia.
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
  • Growing Pains: The Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network at Seven Years

    • Authors: Savitri Taylor
      Pages: 1 - 21
      Abstract: The mission of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), as stated in its Constitution, is ‘to advance the rights of refugees and other people in need of protection in the Asia Pacific region’. This article describes and analyses APRRN’s internal governance and resourcing and the manner in which it is going about achieving its mission. It argues that APRRN’s organisational strength is inadequate to support all that it is trying to do. The article concludes by considering what APRRN could do to improve the likelihood of achieving success in the pursuit of its mission and reflecting on the lessons of the APRRN case study for wider civil society.
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
  • Asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia: Problems and potentials

    • Authors: Muzafar Ali, Linda Ruth Briskman, Lucy Imogen Fiske
      Pages: 22 - 42
      Abstract:  Asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia increasingly experience protracted waiting times for permanent settlement in other countries. They have few, if any, legal rights, coupled with extremely limited financial resources and no access to government provided services. In response to the prospect of living for many years in this difficult and liminal space, a small community of refugees in the West Java town of Cisarua has built relationships, skills and confidence among themselves and with host Indonesians to respond to identified needs. This paper outlines the main political and policy frameworks affecting the lives of refugees in Indonesia and then draws on research interviews and participant observation to illustrate the resilience and agency utilised by the community to mitigate uncertain futures. The major focus is on education for asylum seeker/refugee children.   
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
  • The May 2015 boat crisis: the Rohingya in Aceh

    • Authors: Graham Thom
      Pages: 43 - 62
      Abstract: The 2015 discovery of mass graves in Thailand’s Sadao district, on the border with Malaysia, led to a crack-down on people smugglers by the Thai and Malaysian authorities. Thousands of Rohingya (as well as Bangladeshi migrants) were left stranded in the Andaman Sea as smugglers abandoned their human cargo. Initially pushed back by the Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian navies, it was only after Indonesian fishermen rescued three boats that approximately 1,800 people were permitted to disembark in Indonesia’s Aceh province. The crisis in the Andaman Sea brought into sharp relief the fact that the South East Asia region lacks even the most basic regional protection (or cooperation) framework. While some states are still reticent, there have been attempts to improve government collaboration as demonstrated recently in the March 2016 Bali Declaration on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Crime. This paper examines, however, how the ad hoc approach by Indonesia’s regions, in particular Aceh, to the treatment of the Rohingya who arrived in Aceh in May 2015, works against a comprehensive, national, rights-based approach to protect those seeking asylum in Indonesia. The paper explores the reasons why Aceh chose not to engage with the established practices for the treatment of asylum seekers in Indonesia and the human rights impacts this has had on those rescued. It concludes that the current situation in Aceh is not sustainable. The treatment of refugees in Aceh should be included in a broader national approach, commensurate with the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers throughout Indonesia, particularly if Indonesia is to develop a structured, rights-based approach to those seeking protection. This would then play a significant role in any future regional protection framework. 

      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
  • People Seeking Asylum in Australia and their Access to Employment: Just
           What Do We Know?

    • Authors: Caroline Fleay, Anita Lumbus, Lisa Hartley
      Pages: 63 - 83
      Abstract: Public and political claims about the employment of people from a refugee background in Australia do not always reflect the research findings in this area. For example, recent claims by a senior Coalition Government Minister about people seeking asylum who arrived to Australia by boat during the previous Labor Government’s terms in office (2007-13) posit that many have limited employment prospects. However, given there is little research or government reporting on the experiences of asylum seekers who arrived during this time, and none that focuses specifically on their employment, there is no evidence to support this. A review of research on the employment experiences of people from a refugee background, and Australian policies, suggests a more nuanced picture. This includes research that found while initially people from a refugee background are more likely to be unemployed, have temporary jobs and lower incomes than other newly arrived immigrants, over the longer term second-generation refugees have higher levels of labour market participation than the general population and refugees and their families make significant economic and community contributions to Australia. Research also highlights that refugees may experience a range of barriers to accessing employment, including discrimination, and a review of Australian policies indicates these are likely to have exacerbated some of these barriers for asylum seekers who arrived to Australia by boat. In addition, given previous findings that public attitudes can be influenced by representations made in public and political discourses, the public statements of senior Ministers may be further deepening barriers to accessing employment faced by asylum seekers who arrived by boat.
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
  • Mental health and legal representation for asylum seekers in the
           ‘legacy caseload’

    • Authors: Mary Anne Kenny, Nicholas Procter, Carol Grech
      Pages: 84 - 103
      Abstract: This article examines the legal challenges asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia experience when seeking assistance with their claims and its impact on their mental health. The authors outline the experiences of asylum seekers in the “legacy caseload” group who have been waiting up to four years to have their protection claims assessed. The complex interplay between legal assistance to support refugee claims and the way those making claims inevitably struggle to understand, engage and participate in the process is analysed. It is argued that provision of legal assistance for this group will be essential to ensuring that the refugee status determination process is fair and allows asylum seekers to understand and participate more fully in the process. Recent changes to the assessment of claims combined with a reduction in funding for legal assistance create significant hurdles and combine to compound existing stress and emotional trauma leading to detrimental outcomes on the mental health of asylum seekers.
      PubDate: 2016-07-26
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 2 (2016)
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Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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