Latest Book: Hope, Solidarity & Death At The Australian Border: Asylum Seekers & Christmas Island
Annually, forced displacement affects millions as they search for safety. Not only confronted with the risks of irregular migration, asylum seekers must navigate border politics imposed by countries seeking to deter and punish those in need. Nameless bodies that wash up on the shores globally have become a contemporary norm. As humans all deeply connected, a moral responsibility exists to understand why asylum seekers seek refuge even if the stakes of death are high. When understanding prevails, compassion and welcome often follows. However, policies of deterrence, signaling to refugees “not welcome” have overshadowed an appreciation to understand.
Despite asylum seekers deaths being well publicised, government policies that focus on preventing “illegal immigration” often resonate with the populous. The question arises as to why a lack of understanding and hospitality is the dominant discourse. Possible clues are found on faraway Christmas Island, an Australian outpost located in the Indian Ocean, situated much closer to Indonesia than Australia.
This book, the first of such extensive research reveals how Australia’s asylum seeker policy plays out at the Australian border. It examines how Christmas Islanders responded to asylum seekers and makes meaning from these encounters. The story of these asylum seekers encounters is largely an untold one, but important, as it provides insights into why humans respond to strangers in need or turn them away. It opens the aperture for future discussions around the global complexities of welcoming asylum seekers, host communities and immigration border policies, and encourages replacing asylum seeker border deaths with hope and solidarity.
Order a copy through Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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