Jimmy Bartel’s beard—Orange day—and XB visa-subclass 204: Woman-at-Risk

Jimmy Bartel appeared in a Sunrise interview on March 29 commendably raising awareness of family/gender violence issues, the dark secret of all too many a household, community, and society. Certainly for international refugee work, the issue he points to is particularly pertinent and topical.

Insecurity, commercialization, uncertainty, and vilification of border crossing, exacerbates gender sensitive vulnerability to trafficking, forced servitude, and modern slavery. All the more so when occurring against a backdrop of international conflict—itself so horrifically linked to gender crimes. The mental illness and dysfunctionality of international homelessness can be a further aggravating factor surrounding the vulnerability that all too often precedes vile abuse.

I draw readers’ attention to the Australian Government’s provisions for protecting offshore female refugees under the woman-at-risk visa scheme. Refugee camps, communities, and gender violence epidemic hot-spots must be better connected to the positive message that the Australian government, and people, bring to this issue under the Commonwealth’s offshore humanitarian migration program. Female refugees outside their country of origin, at risk of abuse and exploitation, are prioritized in virtue of being allocated a purpose-fit visa, XB sub-class 204. I am aiming to raise more awareness myself over 2016, inspired to further take on board, in my capacity as a not-for-profit migration agent: the 2015-2016 UN Women realizing rights agenda; and pertinently, Executive Director Lakshmi Puri’s concept note from the Thematic Workshop on Connectivity–Migration–Business, at the Ninth Global Forum for Migration and Development (Bangkok, Thailand, March 29).

Review of attached offshore humanitarian application form 842 may provide further insight, in terms of giving an example of associated visa application documentation. The attachment does not constitute advice or assistance. My free consultancy and support on the 204 and other humanitarian subclasses is open to all and I welcome contact from anyone interested in the stream, or any other compelling or compassionate refugee- migration challenges.

I look forward to authoring more posts to follow on from the Orange Day Action Plan March 2016

#orangeurhood Laos
Fifty boys and girls of various ages wearing the orange Strong Hands t-shirts and caps put on a flash mob dancing in sync. It was one of the events that took place at the National University of Lao, Dong Dok campus on December 4th. It was a joint collaboration amongst UN Women, UNFPA, NCAW, NUOL, Fanglao and Hoppin. “It is important for boys to respect girls because girls support us in everything we do, our Mothers have taken care of us, we have to do our part to take care of them.” – Kaka, Director/Choreographer of Fanglao/Hoppin Photo: DANHO/Daniel Hodgson


This post follows the European Commission’s release last week of the report: study_on_the_gender_dimension_of_trafficking_in_human_beings._final_report

It examines what it means to be ‘taking into account the gender perspective, to strengthen the prevention of this crime and protection of the victims thereof’, as required in Article 1 of European Union (EU Directive 2011/36/EU on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting its Victims in the context of the EU Strategy (COM(2012) 286 final) Towards the eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings.


Poles Saving Jews in Bangkok: History Lesson for Humanity

Igor Dirgantara

by Rattana Lao


BANGKOK – Polish, Israeli and Thai diplomats, academics and students gathered together to listen and learn about the courage of Polish people saving the Jews during the Second World War.

Chulalongkorn University hosted “The Good Samaritans of Markowa” exhibition to honor the innocent and brave Polish families in Markowa who risked their lives saving the Jews from Nazi extermination. The event took place in Bangkok to celebrate the 40th year of lasting friendship between Poland and Thailand.

During the course of World War II, more than 50,000 Jews were saved by Polish people. Each Jewish survivor needed to change their shelter at least 7 times and required as many as 10 people to be involved in the process.

Irena Sandler, a Polish nurse, was one of the brave Poles who saved at least 2,500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. At the end of the War, 6,600 Polish…

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Prank calls to refugee and migrant services—the appalling behaviour reluctantly prompting me to call for tighter client identification

Unfortunately I am having to tighten ID checks at the user interface of my consultancy service. Intended as a safe and supportive port of call for those urgently needing immigration support, it is with considerable distress, and I must confess disgust, that I have to report being targeted by anti-social racists and proponents of hate speech.

Whilst I have built my career around being a compassionate person, I cannot help feeling anything other than abhorrence for individuals who find it entertaining to prank call refugee and migrant services—poking fun with absurd foreign accent impersonations—or wasting time and resources with bogus information and fake enquiries. Such behaviour not only takes away valuable help and support from those that are genuinely in need—but it also risks demoralizing and undermining the cause and purpose this service has so passionately built on.

When the patchy briefs come through with irregular contact information and inconsistent narratives, I always retain a small shred of hope that setting aside time to give them the benefit of the doubt, to believe that some good can still be done—will prove worthwhile. But second by second, as the preposterous and vile charades of these pranksters take root, a deeply disheartening despair all too chokingly envelops. I find myself half-heartedly tailing off, skewered, internalizing, and deflating—their relentless hunger to exploit beating down my professional sensibilities as I lament their degeneracy. I then seem to involuntarily resign into the purgatory of recognizing the ludicrous self deluded egoism being foisted upon me on the one hand, and yet on the other, I nonetheless try to pretend it is invisible and persist with my advocacy. A withering crumble into no man’s land ensues—their senseless destructiveness thinly veiled beneath my semi-clad tolerance.

Racists and wreckers preying on charitable suburban start ups offering free online support to refugees … all too sincere a hallmark of the hidden terror of our times—mass socialization into regressive, anti-enlightenment, primalism.




US House of Representatives resolution 234-186


“On March 17, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution, 234-186, to support the filing of a House amicus brief in United States v. Texas, the case challenging the Obama Administration’s executive actions on immigration. The brief would oppose the Administration’s actions on separation of powers grounds, arguing that the Administration overstepped its constitutional bounds by protecting over 5 million people from deportation through the actions. Five Republicans opposed the measure. Oral arguments in United States v. Texas will be heard by the Supreme Court on Monday, April 18.

On March 16, the House Judiciary Committee passed HR 4731, the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2016. Among other things, the legislation would cap the annual level of refugee admissions at 60,000; repeal provisions which currently allow the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to waive grounds of inadmissibility to allow an individual entry into the US as a refugee or to adjust his or her status; and grant state and local governments veto power to deny resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions based on their nationality, religion, or ethnicity. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), as well as Refugee Council USA, strongly opposed the measure.

HR 4646, the House version of the “Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016,” introduced by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), now has 54 co-sponsors in the House. The Act would require the provision of counsel, at government expense, to unaccompanied alien children in removal proceedings. The Senate version, S. 2545, has 15 co-sponsors. At the same time, the Administration continues to deport Central Americans under a new initiative called Operation Border Guardian. Since October 2015, the Administration has deported 800 Central American unaccompanied minors or who recently turned 18. Nearly 30,000 Central Americans fleeing violence have been deported since October.

The US Senate will be on Easter recess from March 19-April 3. The US House of Representatives will be on recess from March 24-April 11.

Organizations representing the CARA Family Detention Pro-Bono Representation and Advocacy Project, a coalition of groups that provide legal representation to Central American families being held in detention, will hold a rally in front of the White House on March 28, 2016 at 12:30pm to protest the use of family detention. For more information on the rally, visit https://cliniclegal.org/cara/endfamilydetention.”