a speech I gave for a school debate about Asylum Seekers
Tony Fuller from the Kent Refugee Action Network talks about the increase in destitute asylum seekers who can't claim benefits or apply for jobs whilst their asylum application is processed.
Roy Chubby Brown-Asylum Seeker
Watch all the european news on www.europocket.tv
A group of activists went to GEO's UK headquarters in Reading...to make a lot of noise about GEO running Campsfield detention centre, just outside Oxford. Campsfield is where the UK government puts refugees and asylum seekers.
‘IN ONE CITY'
The world ‘In One City’! People from most European countries and all continents; speaking over 80 different languages and representing 11% of the total population. This isn’t London; it’s Leeds, population 720,000, and over the last ten years it has become one of the most vibrant and successful cities in the UK. But behind this economic success story, a different picture emerges.
During the summer of 2001 Leeds, like several Northern towns and cities, experienced well-documented public disturbances. Reports show that the changes in UK society are causing tensions and divisions that lead to people living parallel lives within and across local areas and communities. They conclude that sustained efforts need to be made to promote community cohesion; to raise awareness and understanding; to break down barriers; and to develop shared values, mutual respect and trust.
Since the London bombings took place in 2005, which increased tension within communities, the National Asylum Support Service has placed a further 2,500 asylum seekers in Leeds.
Over 25% of the population in Leeds is under 20 years old and it is unclear how they perceive themselves and others; and how this relates to other people living in the city.
Do young people from Leeds find shared values?
'IN ONE CITY" is a 50 minute documentary with over 40 young people. Available for a 12+ international audience.
17.11.2008 Litvinov, Ustecky Kraj, Czech Republic
About 500 right-wing extremists tried to go to an area inhabited by Roma (Gypsy) to attack them in the northern Czech town of Litvinov, but were prevented by about 1000 police/riot squad personnel. Riot police have waged a bloody battle with far-right protesters who hurled petrol bombs and stones. Some of the rioters wore masks. In the ensuing riot, lots of law enforcement personnel and 'right-wingers' were injured.
The violence broke out at a march by the far-right WORKERS' PARTY, a public holiday in the Czech Republic marking both the 1939 Nazi clamp down on Czechoslovak universities and the 1989 student protest that sparked the Velvet Revolution which ended decades of communist rule in the central European country.
The Czech Republic's largely impoverished Roma population has repeatedly complained of endemic racial discrimination.
In the midst of the transition to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, the Roma have increasingly become victims of racial discrimination, stereotyping, and violence. Of all the stereotypes of the Roma, the social construct of Gypsy criminality has had the most devastating impact upon the social status of the community.
In public discourse concerning the Romani community—whether political or in the media—the issue of alleged Gypsy criminality, is often referred to as a justification for society's treatment of the Roma. Deeply rooted in the past and widely held, this stereo-type invariably shapes public opinion and state action against the Roma.
Media in several countries tend to arouse anti-Gypsy hysteria by reporting that the Roma are criminals who exploit the benefits granted to asylum-seekers in the countries to which they are migrating.
Related News: CZECH ROMA PROTEST ARSON ATTACK ON BABY
Rallies were held across the Czech Republic on Sunday in a show of strength by the country's Roma community against extremism, two weeks after an arson attack left a Roma baby fighting for life.
A crowd of about 250 people gathered outside a Prague church to pray for the family from the eastern village of Vitkov, whose two-year-old girl has more than 80 percent burns after the Molotov attack on April 19.
"I have come to support the family," Monika Hlavacova, a young Roma woman from Prague, told AFP, describing the situation of the 300,000-strong Czech Roma community as "terrible."
Similar protests were held in 13 other towns and cities including Usti nad Labem, where neo-Nazis staged a march two weeks ago, and Chomutov, whose town hall seizes benefits from Roma defaulting on rents.
When the speaker in Prague said the Roma rallying in Chomutov had been attacked by extremists throwing firecrackers, the crowd chanted: "This is our home too," "Murderers" and "Shame on you."
The Prague rally was attended by several politicians including Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, but their presence failed to silence criticism that the government had been slow to react.
"If the family were white, politicians would have acted at once," said Hlavacova.
A peaceful protest in Swansea on Saturday March 13 to raise awareness of the plight of the women and children held as refugees in privately run detention centres such as Yarls Wood. Asylum seekers have reported being abused and assualted by staff at Yarls Wood and other detention centres run by private companies Distributed by Tubemogul.
Transcript by Newsy****
BY JAYNE HENSON
You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy
The Australian government is under scrutiny for its refugee policy after a wooden boat full of refugees slammed into the rocky shores of Christmas Island. At least 28 asylum seekers died in that tragic accident.
Australia had agreed to take in 500 refugees from Indonesia, but a new report says it’s only accepted 100. The Christmas Island incident is just the latest tragedy impacting those seeking asylum in Australia. (Video: The Australian)
Fox News explains why so many refugees are still willing to make the perilous journey.
“Because that is where anybody that reaches Australian territory by boat is detained and then processed. What that basically means is that if they can show they will be persecuted then they will likely be taken in by Australia or other countries that are friendly to refugees
In the Christian Science Monitor, critics argue the Christmas Island detention center is itself the problem.
“Australian rights activists argue that a policy of detaining refugees on remote islands is inhumane and contrary to international humanitarian law. The United Nations’ refugee agency has also criticized the practice, citing the hardship faced by those left in limbo on Christmas Island.”
That detention center has been a hot button issue in Australian politics since the country began processing arrivals there two years ago.
It’s been called the Pacific Solution -- and has been widely criticized by rights groups like Amnesty International for holding asylum seekers under lock and key while their claims are processed.
That brings us back to this specific incident. ABC News Australia explains, other human rights activists have accused the Australian government of being slow to respond to the news of problems aboard the incoming vessel during poor weather – essentially using a policy of deterrence.
“We know that we have very efficient surveillance out there and, if indeed, they did know the boat was coming, which is highly likely, why didn’t someone stop it?
But Sky News shares the eyewitness account of one observer who explains the challenges and hardships of rescue efforts on that day.
“The locals of Christmas Island turned out en masse to help any way they could and not one of us could do a damn thing to help anyone in the water because it was just so dangerous. None of the vessels could get near any of the people. All we could do was just watch and hope that someone might survive.”
The BBC reports more than 6,000 asylum seekers reached Australia by boat in 2010 -- saying that could be the highest number in 20 years.
Get more multisource video news analysis from Newsy
BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN
You're watching multisource world news analysis from Newsy
As many as 150 migrants are missing after a boat capsized off the coast of Lampedusa.
An estimated 22,000 migrants have flooded the Italian island amid ongoing unrest in North Africa. Most are from Tunisia – but Italian officials believe this latest migrant boat embarked from Libya. (VIDEO FROM TELESUR)
The tragedy is reigniting debate over how to best handle the influx. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been in talks with the Tunisian government.
Euronews reports - most of the migrants are simply looking for work in Europe.
“Berlusconi was there with his interior minister to talk about the problem and as the Tunisians to do more to prevent people leaving, but with migrants being charged about 1,000 euros each by the smugglers, it could be a difficult issue to solve.”
But despite official efforts - ABC Australia says the reality on the ground for would-be migrants is spiraling into a humanitarian crisis.
“They are exhausted, strained by a frightening journey across Libya, and now pitifully they are wet too, soaked where they stand by a passing storm. ... In the three days we’ve been here the flow out of Libya has doubled, then doubled again.”
“Humanitarian crisis” is an understatement - writes The Guardian’s Simon McMahon - who in no uncertain terms charges Italy with “failing North Africa’s refugees.”
“The migrants themselves have complained of being treated as animals. The reaction from Italy's leaders has been … likening the crisis to a ‘human tsunami’... Silvio Berlusconi has offered deportation as the only resolution... This is not a humanitarian response. This is a military-security mission designed to ensure the foreigners are kept separate and sent away as quickly as possible.”
Under the Dublin convention of 1990 - asylum seekers must be processed in the country of arrival.
A BBC reporter spoke with migrants waiting to be processed - and says - they’re looking for a chance at a new life.
“To Europe. All Europe. (Anywhere in Europe?) It doesn't matter. Where there is freedom, democracy, we will go there. We hate the life in Tunisia. We hate to be animals. We want to be normal people, human, nothing else.”
According to the New York Times - some of the migrants will be issued six-month temporary residence permits. But France 24 reports - those simply looking for work will likely be sent back home.
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Transcript by Newsy
Sound Foundation: The BSG - Dubstep Mix [14-05-2011]
01) Borgore - Love
02) Ajapai & Adroa - Decimation
03) Bare - 2 Die 4
04) Ajapai - Brain
05) Datsik - Retreat
06) Druley - Fail
07) Dr. Cryptic - Evil
08) Black Sun Empire - Hyper Sun
09) Excision - Get To The Point [Ft Liquid Stranger]
10) Skrillex - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
11) MCstangl - Pow Riddim
12) unclebadtouchmusic - Lion Den [Ft Mr. Kitt]
13) Chase & Status - Time [Cop Dickie Remix]
14) J Nitrous - Lost On Earth
15) The Prepster - Hollow
16) Miso Soup - Girl Phone Call [AlienHearts Remix]
17) Boy Kid Cloud - Flaaavour
18) Sadhu - Asylum Seekers [ViP]
19) Boy Kid Cloud - War
20) Shem - Accidentally On Purpose
21) Trolley Snatcha - Circle K [FuntCase Remix]
22) Wicked Fat Noize - Umpa
23) Mark Instinc Vs. Greenlaw - Go In Peace [Dubstep Remix]
24) MRK1 & Virus Syndicate - Talk To Frank
25) Rat-A-Tat-Tat [Ft Dynamite M.C]
26) Dubstar - Skank Out!
27) Dead Prez & WTF! - It's Bigger Than Hip Hop UK [Dubbed Out Mix]
28) TC - Where's My Money [Caspa Remix]
29) Liquid Stranger - Rocket Fuel
30) High Rankin - The Things You Do
31) Example - Kickstarts [Bar 9 Remix]
32) Ajapai - What Do You Hear? [Original Mix]
33) Blame - Star [Doctor P No Rap Remix]
34) Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Wondering [Dirtyphonics Remix]
35) Excision & Datsik - Swagga
36) Orbatak - Machete
37) Akira Kiteshi - Boom 'N' Pow
38) Fel, Mojo & Psyman - This Time
39) Tim Berg - Bromance [Cubism Remix]
40) Skream - Wibbler
41) King Astma - Get Fucked Up [Ft Maksim]
42) Feed Me - Blood Red
43) Doctor P - Big Boss
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*******SupremeMasterTV**** – The United Nations World Refugee Day: “Real People, Real Needs”. Episode: 1740, Air Date: 20 June 2011.
Greetings, kind viewers, and welcome to A Journey through Aesthetic Realms on Supreme Master Television.
Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations to affirm the solidarity of the international community to assist refugees in creating a bright future for all. This day also recognizes the significant contribution of refugees around the globe.
In today’s program, we will take a closer look into the plight of our brethren who are unfortunately deprived of their homes. A refugee is someone who flees his or her hometown to seek safety elsewhere. Although refugees are more commonly understood as people who seek asylum outside of their country, internally displaced people, who have to evacuate from within their own native land, also share similar desperate situations. The term “boat people” came to the forefront during the exodus of Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees in the late 1970s.
Many lives succumbed in the high sea to capsizing waves and boat damage, or endured food and water shortage, and pirate attacks. Boat people have also come from other parts of the world, such as Cuba, Haiti, Morocco, and Albania. Even when they stay in temporary camps, they could face forced repatriation and, in hopelessness, some have been known to end their precious lives. Empathizing with their deep suffering, several times in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Supreme Master Ching Hai visited refugee camps in Hong Kong and the Philippines to care for and comfort the Aulacese refugees.
In addition, Supreme Master Ching Hai tirelessly traveled around the world, including to the United States, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Thailand, Formosa (Taiwan) among other countries as well as the United Nations, to speak with government officials and the media, offering her unconditional assistance to relocate the refugees and brought much needed attention to this urgent issue.
Today still, millions of people around the world live as refugees. The combined population of both refugees and those displaced within their native lands is approximately 37 million in more than 150 countries. About half the refugee population are children. As of December 31, 2005, Sudan has the most number of internally displaced people, with over 5 million. Countries with the largest source of refugees are Afghanistan, Iraq, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, and the Palestinian Territories.
Some endure life in refugee camps for months, or even years. Oftentimes, members of families are separated, sometimes for long periods of time. They must live without knowing when they may see their loved ones again.
The most common causes of refugees are wars, climate change, persecution, oppression, and economic hardship. Sometimes, multiple refugee issues affect an entire region. For example, Bangladesh hosts approximately 230,000 refugees from Myanmar (Burma), while concurrently coping with 6.5 million climate displaced persons within her land. The Democratic Republic of Congo provides residence for over 180,000 refugees from neighboring nations, yet it’s also the place of origin of approximately 450,000 refugees. Not only that, there are about 2 million internally displaced people in the country as well.
While waiting for resettlement, refugees reside in camps set up by governments or non-governmental organizations for shelter, food, and medical aid. There are approximately 700 refugee camps around the world, each holding about 20,000 people on average. Although camps are meant for temporary stay, sometimes they become long-term residence because refugees have nowhere else to go. The majority of Palestinian refugees in Lebanese camps, for example, have stayed for generations since 1948.
Wars are one of the biggest root causes of present-day worldwide refugee issues. The 2003 Iraq war rendered over 4.7 million people homeless, which is more than 16% of the Iraqi population. The war between the Pakistani government and Taliban in Pakistan’s northern territories has uprooted more than 3 million civilians since 2004. Beginning in 2003, one-third of Darfur residents, or over 2.5 million people, fled their homes during the Darfur conflict in Sudan. The Colombian conflict that lasted almost 50 years has led to an estimated 2.6 to 4.3 million internally displaced people.
Refugees reportedly suffer from physical, emotional, and psychological traumas. Not only have they lost their homes, loved ones, and valuables, they may also lack food, clean water, and medicine.
Some refugees suffer from the life-impairing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms include frequent flashbacks of traumatic events, anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, nightmares, and survivor guilt. PTSD has been diagnosed among 28.3% of Bosnian refugee women 3 to 4 years after they arrived in Sweden. In another study, 34% of Palestinian children, mostly refugees, were found to have PTSD. All refugees also have to cope with the stress of adapting to a new environment. Resettled refugees often find that they have less family time due to survival pressure, self isolation for fear of causing burden to others, and loss of their own cultural pride.
Over the years, Supreme Master Ching Hai has spoken compassionately on the dire predicament of war refugees. And these refugees or people, they are traumatized. They have also psychological need, very difficult. Their house has burned down, their pets die in the war, their husband’s gone, missing. Their children lost legs and arms and they have no money because they run away from home empty-handed.
The term “environmental refugees” refers to people displaced by natural disasters and the effects of climate change such as rising sea level, persistent drought, and desertification. It is estimated that there will be as many as 50 million environmental refugees by 2020.
Climate refugees face issues such as food security and medical challenges. For example, increased sea level has caused lands on coastal communities of Bangladesh to immerse in salty water and therefore turn uncultivable. Trees stop bearing fruits, and vegetables don’t grow. At the same time, diseases such as eczema and liver cancer due to the lack of clean fresh water become widespread. Because of this, numerous households have left the land where they have lived for generations.
Many climate displaced households of Bangladesh have migrated to Dhaka, the capital of the nation, where they live in packed slums. Nurnahar’s family is one of them. Here, she and her husband collect discards from the streets and sell them to make a paltry amount of money for their survival. Her husband suffers from depression. Their son wants to go to school but they cannot afford it. Sometimes, Nurnahar has to go out to beg for money, pained daily by the loss of her dignity. In her own words, “there is nothing left to live for.”
Unfortunately, Nurnahar’s story is not an isolated one. More and more people are becoming environmental refugees day by day. In the documentary “Does Anybody Care if Bangladesh Drowns?,” journalist and environmentalist Afsan Chowdhury concluded from his firsthand experience that climate refugees have become a regular part of life.
According to the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the humanitarian cost to respond to natural disasters has increased ten-fold from 1992 to 2008. Because of the massive illegal migration of environmental refugees from Bangladesh to India, the tension between the two nations has also increased as India started to fence its borders.
In an interview with journalist Charles Norton of “The House Magazine,” a weekly British political publication relating to the House of Commons, Supreme Master Ching Hai further expounded on the issue of climate refugees.
As a result, more and more countries may have to help cope with the swell of displaced people, hoping they can - if we even can cope with it. In this dire situation when all countries already have to cope with different problems – financial crisis, food crisis - and we have to cope with this sudden surge of immeasurable force of refugees. These situations will only worsen, not improve, until we stop the cause.
The cost of assisting all refugees from wars, environmental degradation and other causes is substantial. In 2008 alone, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees spent US$1.6 billion, while the United States, the world’s largest refugee receiving country, spent US$900 million to 2 billion to help relocate refugees.
Over the past two decades, Supreme Master Ching Hai has donated more than US$28 million for humanitarian causes, with a significant amount going towards direct aid for asylum seekers around the world, from Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees to people from Chechnya to Rwanda to East Timor and Afghanistan. Some of her contributions are also made quietly and anonymously.
Whenever any war breaks out, it could be any of us who will become a refugee.
Imagine if we have to go through all the suffering, all the hardship that they have to endure, being just a bystander of the war, being just an innocent citizen of the world. And we also thank groups of people or individuals who are so noble, who opened their heart and opened their home to welcome, to care for the desperate victims of war. In the whole world, we thank them all wherever they are.
At this time, as our planet is facing the perils of wars and climate change, extending a helping hand to our brothers and sisters in need, is not only a true act of kindness, but is a moral duty. We are specially grateful to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her loving care of God’s children around the globe and for her profound guidance on how we may bring our world to a state of peace and abundance. May all refugees be graced with inner and outer peace on a sustainable Earth, with Heaven’s manifold blessings.
Benevolent viewers, thank you for your company today on A Journey through Aesthetic Realms. Up next on Supreme Master Television is Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living, right after Noteworthy News. May generous and sharing lives be an inspiration to us all.
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A group of 11 Sri Lankan asylum seekers were picked up by Indonesian police near Indonesia's Bintan island this week.
The group of seven men, two women and two children were said to be abandoned by a Malaysian agent after being told they would be taken to Australia.
For many ethnic Tamils from Sri Lanka, fleeing conflict and what they say is discrimination in their homeland and travelling by boat on a dangerous journey to an uncertain life in Australia is viewed as their only shot at a better life.
Many of them end up detained as refugees and only a handful are granted asylum each year.
But hundreds of them are still willing to try, despite the risks and the high financial costs, as Al Jazeera's Aela Callan finds out.
Asylum seekers have rioted at an Australian detention centre in Sydney and set on fire many buildings.
Some of the detainees at Villawood centre also got onto the roof to unfurl banners and attacked firefighters and guards.
Rights groups said the long delays in the immigration applications process might have precipitated the violence.
But politicians condemned the actions as the "criminal behaviour" of people "not welcome" in Australia.
Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Sydney.
About 100 detainees were involved in the protest at Sydney's Villawood centre.
Buildings were set alight and some detainees got onto the roof to unfurl banners and attack firefighters and guards.
Refugee groups say the time it takes to process applications is behind the violence
But politicians condemned the actions as the "criminal behaviour" of people "not welcome" in Australia.
SOUTH AFRICA: THE NEW APARTHEID
The series began... (more)
Added: December 12, 2007
SOUTH AFRICA: THE NEW APARTHEID
The series began in South Africa where a huge rise in illegal immigration from Zimbabwe and other African states is behind an increase in racism and xenophobic violence. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy journeys from the Zimbabwean border to one of Johannesburg's most dangerous quarters to investigate.
Friday 13 October 2006 7.35pm
Sunday 15 October 2006 4.35am (R)
Reporter Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Director Robin Barnwell begin their film on the Zimbabwean border with a group of Zimbabweans as they begin a long journey to Johannesburg. The South African police stop them but let them go in exchange it is claimed, for a bribe, which the people smugglers claim is routine.
The Zimbabweans say they are fleeing a collapsing state, where President Mugabe's policies have driven the economy into crisis and where earning enough to feed their families is impossible. However, the South Africans blame them for a crime wave and accuse them of causing unemployment.
White farmers in the Limpopo border region tell Unreported World that the immigrants are perpetrating brutal farm murders and poaching their game. The team films several farmers taking the law into their own hands by rounding them up, tying them together and handing them over to the police.
It's not just the farmers who believe these migrants are fuelling a crime wave. The team moves on to Johannesburg and films with police in one of the city's most dangerous areas. They accompany officers who routinely use plastic bullets to round up suspected illegal immigrants.
Those they catch are sent to the Lindela detention centre. The team interview a group of Congolese men who accuse the guards of severely beating them. Another inmate laments that South Africans have forgotten the support that their "African brothers" gave them during the days of Apartheid and accuses black South Africans of being the "biggest racists in the world".
The team then travel to the suburb of Diepsloot where the local South African business community has written an extraordinary letter to Somalian shopkeepers asking them to leave. The shopkeepers - who say they're asylum seekers rather than illegal immigrants - fear they will suffer similar violent attacks to those suffered by other immigrant communities.
A group of protestors gathers, demanding that South Africa should be for South Africans only. One woman tells Unreported World that black South Africans fought long and hard to gain their freedom that these benefits are now being stolen by illegal immigrants.
The team are then allowed to film on board a train returning 400 Zimbabwean illegal immigrants back to the border. Some are so desperate to remain, that they throw themselves from the moving train during the night. Almost all say they will be back in the country within a few days. Given the ever-worsening economic environment in Zimbabwe they say they have no other choice.