20 June 2019 World Refugee Day
‘Surrounded with so much uncertainty’: asylum seekers and manufactured precarity in Australia / J van Kooy, D Bowman* – Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2019 — In Australia, nearly 30,000 asylum seekers have the legal right to work, but their temporary and conditional migration status exposes them to work-related precarity. This article draws on a small qualitative study that examined asylum seekers’ experiences of seeking work and achieving economic security. Over an 18-month period, 29 semi-structured interviews with asylum seekers who had work rights in Australia were conducted. It provides insights into how restrictive immigration policies manufacture precarity through short-term, conditional visas, resulting in employer risk aversion, segmentation into insecure work, and in-work instability and mistreatment. Asylum seekers manage their experiences and feelings of pervasive insecurity through individual coping and survival strategies.
*Dr Dina Bowman Principal Research Fellow, Work and Economic Security, Research and Policy Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence Honorary Principal Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne
The Asylum Seeker Integrated Healthcare Pathway: a collaborative approach to improving access to primary health care in South Eastern Melbourne, Victoria, Australia / I-Hao Cheng A B F , Jacquie McBride C , Miriam Decker et al. – Australian Journal of Primary Health 25(1) 6-12 — It is important to address the health needs of asylum seekers within the early stages of their arrival in Australia, as this impacts all aspects of their resettlement. However, asylum seekers face a range of barriers to accessing timely and appropriate health care in the community. In 2012, the increasing number of asylum seekers in Australia placed additional demand on health and social services in high-settlement regions. Health providers experienced a substantial increase in Medicare ineligible clients and avoidable presentations to Emergency Departments, and the health needs of new asylum seeker arrivals were not being fully addressed. In response, South Eastern Melbourne Medicare Local, Monash Health, the Australian Red Cross and local settlement support agencies collaborated to develop an integrated healthcare pathway in South Eastern Melbourne to facilitate healthcare access for asylum seekers released from detention. From September 2012 to December 2014, a total of 951 asylum seekers transitioned through the pathway. Seventy-eight percent required primary healthcare assistance, and were provided with a service appointment within 3 weeks of their arrival in Melbourne. This initiative has demonstrated the value of partnership and collaboration when responding to emergent asylum seeker health needs.
Gender disparities and psychological distress among humanitarian migrants in Australia: a moderating role of migration pathway? / Y Jarallah, J Baxter – Conflict and health, 2019 – The role of migration pathway (refugees vs. asylum seekers) is seldom addressed in extant literature that looks at gender and mental health of humanitarian migrants. The aim of this study is to assess the relationship between gender and psychological distress among humanitarian migrants in Australia including the potential moderating role of migration pathway. We analyse data from 2399 humanitarian migrants that participated in the first wave of Building a New Life in Australia, a survey of humanitarian migrants in Australia, using Ordinary Least Squares multivariate regression. Women report significantly higher psychological distress than men. Migration pathway moderates the relationship between gender and psychological distress with women asylum seekers reporting higher psychological distress. There is also a significant association between pre-migration trauma, settlement arrangements (particularly those associated with finance, housing, getting used to life in Australia and loneliness) and psychological distress. Findings indicate higher psychological distress among asylum seeking women and suggest the importance of migrant status in predicting psychological distress. Settlement arrangements are key predictors of psychological distress among humanitarian migrants. While strategies aimed at addressing their mental health are warranted, policies aimed at the broader social determinants of health are needed to alleviate some of their mental distress especially in light of the recent changes to the Australian Refugee and Asylum-seeking policies. [Open access @ 20/06/2019]
‘Humanitarian borderwork’: Identifying tensions between humanitarianism and securitization for government contracted NGOs working with adult and unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in Australia / Alison Gerard, Leanne Weber, Theoretical Criminology, Vol 23, Issue 2, 2019 — This article challenges the common assumption that non-government organizations (NGOs) are ‘natural allies’ to asylum seekers in transforming borders from below by examining theories of humanitarianism within the context of securitization. Our article examines the theoretical and policy implications of the ‘humanitarian borderwork’ of NGOs, defined as practices that contain a security logic that construct, shift and erase internal and external borders. Our case study explores the involvement of government contracted NGOs in the delivery of services to adult and unaccompanied minor asylum seekers on the community detention and release programme in Australia. Documentary analysis of policy and contractual arrangements informing the establishment of community detention and release is supplemented by key informant interviews with government officials and service providers. We analyse the contradictory tensions that exist between humanitarian objectives that seek to ‘transform borders from below’ and governmental security imperatives that tend to co-opt agencies and limit their ability to achieve humanitarian aims. Based on the case study presented, we illustrate how the ‘humanitarian borderwork’ of NGOs can shape the translation of government power and contribute to the government agenda of border securitization.
Life (forever) on hold: unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors in Australia / K Robinson, SM Gifford, Academia, 2019 — Australia’s policies towards asylum seekers arriving unauthorised by boathave had a particularly harmful impact on unaccompanied children. Anestimated 1,832 unaccompanied asylum seeking minors (UAM) arrived inAustralia between 2008 and 2012 (Houston et al, 2012). In 2012-2013 therewere 1900 UAMs in immigration detention in Australia (Phillips, 2017a).However, since the reintroduction in 2013, of the boat ‘turnbacks’ policy – thepractice of removing unauthorised maritime arrivals in Australian waters –(Phillips, 2017b), the number of asylum seekers including UAMs arriving inAustralia by boat has fallen dramatically. It is difficult to obtain accuratestatistics of how many UAMs currently reside in Australia as most would havearrived as teenagers prior to 2014 and many will now be ‘aged out’ – that isover the age of 18 years and thus no longer considered to be a minor. Theseyoung people are part of what is referred to as the ‘asylum legacy’ and as ofFebruary 2016, there were an estimated 32,000 persons in this category withapproximately 23,000 released into the community on bridging visas. [Open access @ 20/06/2019]
The mental health effects of visa insecurity for refugees and people seeking asylum: a latent class analysis / EA Newnham et al., International Journal of Public Health June 2019, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 763–772 — Current regional conflicts are creating a surge in forced migration, and heightened visa restrictions are increasingly being applied. The current study aimed to examine the relationship between visa insecurity and psychological outcomes within a large clinical sample of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia … The findings suggest that temporary visas play a significant role in psychological distress and that timely immigration processing has important implications for health outcomes.
The moderating role of socially desirable responding in implicit–explicit attitudes toward asylum seekers / JR Anderson – International Journal of Psychology, Volume54, Issue1 February 2019 pp. 1-7 — Implicit and explicit attitudes correlate under certain conditions and researchers are interested in the moderating factors of this relationship. This paper explored the role of socially desirable responding in this relationship by testing the hypothesis that impression management (IM; i.e., deliberate response modification) and self?deceptive enhancement (SDE; i.e., positive self?bias) play moderating roles in the relationship of implicit–explicit attitudes toward asylum seekers in Australia. Seventy?four students responded to a battery of measures and the results revealed that IM (but not SDE) moderated this relationship to the extent that higher IM scores weakened the correspondence between implicit and explicit attitude scores. This suggests that attitudes toward asylum seekers might be susceptible to socially desirable response tendencies and in combination with the finding that IM was negatively related to explicit attitudes, it is argued that self?presentation concerns result in the deliberate attenuation of reported negative explicit attitudes. [Open access @ 20/06/2019]
Moments of social inclusion: asylum seekers, football and solidarity / B McDonald, R Spaaij, D Dukic – Sport in Society, 2019 – Established in 2012, ‘the Seekers’ are a football club in Melbourne, Australia. Initially set up to provide social recreation for various refugees and asylum seekers, the Seekers have more recently entered a team in the mainstream league competition. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper considers how football facilitates forms of social inclusion for team members, both in relation to the action of the sport and the political and social context of Australian society more broadly. In many ways the field of sport is highly contested as players engage with the mainstream; however the solidarity forged through playing creates the possibility for moments of social inclusion in other ways. The capacity of sporting interactions to facilitate social inclusion for male team members is vexed, though there is evidence to suggest that, in the correct conditions, sport can contribute to an individual’s capacity to access employment and educational opportunities.
Paediatric asylum seekers in Western Australia: Identification of adversity and complex needs through comprehensive refugee health assessment / Gemma Hanes et al. , Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health [Early view] — Asylum seekers (ASs) report high rates of trauma and difficulty accessing health and educational services. This study aims to ascertain the needs of paediatric ASs managed by the tertiary Western Australian paediatric Refugee Health Service (RHS), including demographic features, the range of health and psychosocial issues and ongoing management challenges.
Prosecuting and Partnering for Social Change: Law, Social Movements and Australia’s Mandatory Detention for Refugees and Asylum Seekers [Chapter] / Jennifer Balint – Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, 2019 – IN Studies in Law, Politics and Society, Vol. 79 — This chapter discusses the use of law and legal institutions by the emerging social movement seeking to end Australia’s policy of mandatory detention for refugees and asylum seekers. Through an examination of Australian inquiries and court cases alongside social campaigns, it considers the ability of legal institutional responses to identify the harms, in particular state and institutional responsibility, and the subsequent impact of these legal processes in inhibiting and promoting social and structural change. It shows how social movements are harnessing law and creating new legal and civic spaces in which to contest Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker regime.
The role of Christianity and Islam in explaining prejudice against asylum seekers: Evidence from Malaysia / MM Cowling, JR Anderson, The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, Volume 29, 2019 – Issue 2: Religion, Immigration, and Refugees — Prejudicial attitudes toward asylum seekers are prevalent, and an emerging body of literature has revealed that this is partly driven by religious affiliation. The population of Malaysia is multireligious, making it a fruitful location for testing religion-based prejudice hypotheses. Thus, across 2 studies we tested the roles of Christianity and Islam in explicit and implicit prejudices against asylum seekers in the Malaysian context. In Study 1 (n = 97), we present evidence that there are religion-based differences in prejudice against asylum seekers; specifically, Muslims reported higher levels of (classical) explicit prejudice toward asylum seekers than Christians (there were no differences in conditional or implicit prejudices). In Study 2 (n = 117), we tested the hypothesis that these religion-based differences are qualified by the religion of the asylum seeker. In this study, we used a framing paradigm to experimentally manipulate the religion of the asylum-seeking targets. The results revealed an out-group exacerbation effect; that is, participants reported higher levels of prejudice toward asylum seekers who had a different religion from their own. For classical explicit prejudice, the effect was strongest from Muslims toward Christian asylum seekers. Conversely, for implicit prejudice, the reverse was true: The effect was strongest from Christians toward Muslim asylum seekers. These findings are discussed in terms of the political and social circumstances in Malaysia, but we interpret these findings as evidence that explicit and implicit attitudes toward asylum seekers are driven by a complex pattern of religion-based intergroup biases.
Selective generosity: migration law and policy in Australia [Chapter] / D Ghezelbash et al. IN: Law and migration in a changing world / Marie-Claire Foblets, Jean-Yves Carlier, Springer 2019 — In this chapter, we examine the development of Australian law and policy regulating immigration and citizenship. Beginning with an introduction to the Australian system of government and relevant legal frameworks, we explore key trends in the areas of economic, family, student and humanitarian migration. We argue that Australia’s current immigration policies are defined by their selective generosity. The nation’s liberal approach to skilled migrants, certain family migrants and humanitarian entrants selected overseas through Australia’s resettlement programme can be contrasted to its harsh treatment of asylum seekers.
SOURCE: Refugees and Asylum Seekers – A selection of articles from various sources 20 June 2019
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