The Responsibility to Protect - July 2017

This report is the continuation of ERC’s determination to investigate Australia’s most recent deportations to Afghanistan by providing an overview of Afghanistan’s current security, political, and socio-economic situation, the drivers and trends of migration, and the returnees’ experience, compiled from both primary and secondary sources. The sources selected for preparing this report include scholarly analysis, expert commentary, government and international organisations’ documents, officials’ statements, and newspaper reports as well as conducting interviews with experts and practitioners working at national and international development agencies in Afghanistan. In addition to relying on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, a number of deported Afghans from Australia, Europe and other countries have been interviewed in the context of returnees’ experience in order to broaden the focus of the report.

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Trish and John Highfield - ERC, diversity be thy name

The impact of the Howard Liberal/National Government's decision to privatise operational control of Australian Immigration Detention facilities was becoming startinglingly obvious by the late 1990's. An American company – Wackenhut Corporation – through its Australian subsidary ACM was taking $100m a year as conditions for those in mandatory detention deteriorated. An ABC News report from Port Hedland showed the pitiful plight of very young detained children in the heat haze peering through razor wire.Trish, an early childhood professional, was appalled. Her inquiries to Government agencies led nowhere. Contact with social activist groups gave a better yield – she was guided to Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney. There, Trish met traumatised children and their parents who had almost no contact from outside. Invited to a meeting at the Centre for Refugee Research at UNSW, she contributed to the roundtable discussion. Some good nuns passed on her observations to Sr Aileen Crowe and Zena Elton. Thus our association with the wonderful work of the ERC began. 

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Valda Dickinson - "Let's Talk"

The coming of a spiritual age must be preceded by the appearance of an increasing number of individuals who are no longer satisfied with the normal, intellectual, vital, and physical existence of the human race, but perceive that a greater revolution is the real goal of humanity and attempt to effect it in themselves and lead others to it.

- Teilhard de Chardin

It is almost as if Teilhard, when he wrote these words, had in mind the vision and work of the Edmund Rice Centre, its staff and wonderful group of volunteers and supporters.

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