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From Vietnam to Afghanistan: humanitarian visas for staff assisting Australian forces

With the news that Australia has recently withdrawn the last of its troops from Afghanistan, attention has turned to the fate of Afghans who have worked with foreign forces. There is growing concern that these people are at risk of persecution from the Taliban, as it seeks to reassert control across Afghanistan. The Australian Government is granting humanitarian visas to Afghans who are at risk due to their work assisting Australian forces, but is facing increasing pressure, including from the Opposition and former soldiers, to move more quickly as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates. This is not the first time Australia has offered sanctuary to local staff who have assisted Australian... Read more...

Migrant amnesties: what has Australia done in the past?

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted calls for a visa amnesty for migrants working irregularly in Australia. A look back at policy history shows that Australia has provided very few instances of any kind of migrant amnesty, whether for people in the country irregularly, visa overstayers, or people working in breach of their visa conditions. These instances were some decades ago, when the migration and visa systems were rather different from now. Read more...

Mapping Social Cohesion 2020: are we 'all in this together'?

The 2020 edition of the Scanlon Foundation’s Mapping Social Cohesion report was released on 4 February 2021. In a year when so much seemed to change, the report found that Australia’s stability and resilience largely held firm. However, there are some surprises in what is different and what has stayed the same. Read more...

The impact of COVID-19 on Australian higher education and overseas students—what do the numbers say?

When COVID-19 travel restrictions were announced for travellers from mainland China on 1 February 2020, then for all foreign nationals (excluding Australian permanent residents) from 20 March, student visa holders and the higher education sector began to feel the impacts. Universities Australia has estimated $16 billion in revenue will be lost between June 2020 and 2023, and widespread job losses have been reported across institutions.  Read more...

Seeking asylum in the time of coronavirus: COVID-19 pandemic effects on refugees and people seeking asylum

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting almost every country across the globe, and creating a multitude of challenges for the entire world community. Refugees and people seeking asylum face particular vulnerabilities. Specific concerns include: maintaining safety measures in overcrowded camps and detention centres; lack of access to countries of asylum or resettlement due to border closures; and lack of income support for those who have lost their jobs. Read more...

Mapping Social Cohesion—2019 Scanlon Survey results

The annual Mapping Social Cohesion report by the Scanlon Foundation provides survey results on Australians’ attitudes to social issues including population, immigration and multiculturalism. The 2019 report is the twelfth in the series, building on survey data collected since 2007. Read more...

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