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14 Dec 2014 description

The Australian-managed Ebola Treatment Centre at Hastings Airfield, near Freetown in Sierra Leone, will commence operations tonight.Australia is now managing the Centre following the completion of construction by the United Kingdom.

Patients will be referred to the Centre and in line with best practice it will commence operations with five beds. Operations will be gradually scaled up to full capacity at 100 beds under strict guidelines to ensure infection control procedures are working effectively and trained staff and safety practices are in place.

12 Dec 2014 description

The UK has so far pledged £230 million to help the people of Sierra Leone defeat Ebola. This will build 6 treatment centres across the country, provide food and supplies for thousands of quarantined homes and already has provided over 750 operational beds to isolate and treat cases of Ebola.

As well as giving its own money, Britain has asked other countries across the world to join them in supporting Sierra Leone. So far Norway, Denmark, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada have all agreed to provide health staff for Sierra Leone.

10 Dec 2014 description

Consistent with our commitment to play our part in the global response to climate change, Australia will pledge $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund.

The announcement will be made to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP.

All countries should take practical and proportionate steps to take action on climate change while safeguarding economic growth.

08 Dec 2014 description

QUEZON CITY, 8 Dec. (PIA)— The Australian Government is providing 800 metric tons of rice to support families affected by Typhoon Hagupit, delivered through Australia’s prepositioned stores with the World Food Programme.

In addition, Australia has deployed officials to the affected areas to make further assessments of the damage and to coordinate any further Australian consular and humanitarian assistance.

08 Dec 2014 description

As President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, I welcome the news that the Minister for Immigration has agreed to release all children and their families from detention before Christmas.

Having seen first-hand the damage that detention does to children, I am very eager to find out where they will end up. Their release marks an important moment at which it is acknowledged that stopping the boats is not contingent on detaining children.

05 Dec 2014 description
report Al Jazeera

New immigration law grants temporary visas that prohibits asylum seekers from permanent residence.

Australia has introduced controversial temporary visas for refugees and asylum seekers in a move aimed at tightening immigration laws.

The Migration Act amendments, which could prevent refugees from staying in the country for more than three years, passed the lower house on Friday after a long and intense debate in the upper house Senate over the legislation.

05 Dec 2014 description

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.

A new UNHCR report has found that more people are risking their lives on smugglers’ boats in South-East Asia despite the prospect of horrific violence en route.

05 Dec 2014 description

Update on the dengue situation in the Western Pacific Region

Northern Hemisphere


04 Dec 2014 description

Australia today joins with key partners at the ‘London Conference on Afghanistan’ to engage the new Afghan Government on its reform agenda and reaffirm the Australian Government’s commitment to support Afghanistan’s peaceful development.

The Australian Government continues to advance security and stability in Afghanistan, including through our development assistance program.

03 Dec 2014 description

By political correspondent Lyndal Curtis

Audio: Scott Morrison offers significant concessions as Senate debates migration bill

The Federal Government has announced an increase in the refugee intake and other changes to legislation currently before the Senate in a bid to stave off another defeat in the Upper House.

03 Dec 2014 description

By Steven Schubert and Nadia Daly

Video: A pregnant woman spotted at a Darwin detention centre (ABC News)

Two heavily pregnant women who had refused to leave a bus for more than three days were forcibly removed by Darwin detention centre staff, the ABC has learned.

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition said he had spoken to the women and their families inside the detention centre.

02 Dec 2014 description

Joint media release:

Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton MP

1 December 2014

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, will commemorate World AIDS Day at Parliament House today with community leaders, researchers, business representatives and politicians.

28 Nov 2014 description

Colombo, Sri Lanka | AFP | Friday 11/28/2014 - 11:55 GMT

Sri Lanka's police arrested Friday 37 nationals turned back by Australian authorities on the high seas after attempting to seek asylum, in the first such case in four months, an officer said.

Superintendent Ajith Rohana said Australia's coastguard intercepted the trawler carrying the Sri Lankans near the Indonesian coast, before handing the asylum-seekers over to Sri Lanka's navy on Thursday.

28 Nov 2014 description

Seventeen Australian health workers will depart for West Africa over the following days to train and prepare to provide clinical care in an Ebola treatment centre in Sierra Leone.

This is part of Australia’s $42 million contribution to the Ebola response in West Africa, announced by the Prime Minister on 5 November 2014, and will form part of the UK’s broader response in Sierra Leone.

25 Nov 2014 description

Today I met with United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark to discuss how Australia and the UNDP can further collaborate to reduce poverty, empower women and build stronger democratic institutions.

We also discussed the humanitarian toll being exacted by ISIL, the civil war in Syria and Iraq and what more the international community can do to assist, and the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Australia will provide more than $21 million to the UNDP this year to support its vital work around the world.

24 Nov 2014 description
report Other Worlds

This is part 2 of a four-part article series “Cultivating Climate Justice” which tells the stories of community groups on the frontlines of the pollution, waste and climate crises, working together for systems change. United across six continents, these grassroots groups are defending community rights to clean air, clean water, zero waste, environmental justice, and good jobs. They are all members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a network of over 800 organizations from 90+ countries.

21 Nov 2014 description

Rome, Yogyakarta, 21 November 2014 – The Jesuit Refugee Service observes with deep sadness yet another sudden retroactive change in the policy of Australia towards people seeking international protection in Southeast Asia. Yesterday, the government of Australia announced its decision to stop the resettlement of refugees who had registered with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Indonesia on or after the 1 July 2014. The number of refugees resettled by Australia from Indonesia will also be further reduced in 2015.

21 Nov 2014 description

By Felicity James

An Australian company setting up an Ebola treatment centre in West Africa has confirmed the hospital should be ready to take patients by early December.

In early November the Federal Government committed up to $20 million in funding for private company Aspen Medical to run the 100-bed Ebola treatment clinic in Sierra Leone.

20 Nov 2014 description
report Human Rights Watch

Extortion, Discrimination, Abuse Await Those Resettled Under Australian Deal

(Sydney) –The Australian government should press Cambodian authorities to implement key reforms to improve treatment of refugees in Cambodia before transferring any refugees from Nauru, Human Rights Watch said today.

20 Nov 2014 description
report Bangkok Post

Republished with permission. © Post Publishing PCL. www.bangkokpost.com

When Abid was five, immigration officials arrested him and his family, Pakistani refugees fleeing religious persecution. The officials took them to the squalid immigration detention centre in central Bangkok. There, they joined hundreds of other refugees detained indefinitely, awaiting some distant possibility of release.