Author Archive: Catherine Crittenden

Release detainees at risk from COVID-19

Labor for Refugees strongly supports the position of a number of organisations regarding the urgent need to release immigration detainees in line with recommendations of peak medical bodies and human rights lawyers advising the federal government on their response to COVID-19. In particular, Labor for Refugees endorses the statement made by Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow who has declared that these detainees should be put into community detention where it is safe to do so.  He said that putting people in community detention would enable these people to practise social distancing, as we are all urged to do, and that this must be done as soon as possible.

Commissioner Santow’s position aligns with the joint position of the World Health Organization (WHO), UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration (OIM) and UN Commissioner for Human Rights.

The link to Commissioner Santow’s SBS interview, where he clearly sets out his position on this issue and the reasons for it, follows

Articles about Sri Lanka’s civil war and about Lebanese migration to Australia – interesting reading

Judith Betts, 2019, ‘Malcolm Fraser’s real mistake’, Inside Story, 12 April 2019.

Judith Betts and Mehal Krayem, 2019. ‘Strategic Othering: Framing Lebanese Migration and Fraser’s ‘mistake”, Australian Journal of Politics and History: Volume 65, Number 1, 2019, pp.100–114.

Judith Betts and Claire Higgins, ‘The Sri Lankan Civil War and Australia’s Migration Policy Response: a historical case study with contemporary implications’ (2017) 4(2) Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies 272,

Can you help Shakti?

Shakti is a great organisation which assists migrant and refugee women.

Shakti Australia Ltd (Shakti NSW Facebook )

Shakti provides culturally competent support services for women and families from Asian, African and Middle Eastern communities across Australia, and especially those who are asylum seekers and refugees.

Shakti Australia has operated in Victoria since 2011 and in NSW since 2014 providing support and services to asylum seeker and refugee families and new migrants based on need.  It provides advocacy, social outreach work, support for safe refuge/housing, interpretation, awareness-raising on domestic violence affecting immigrant families, women’s support group activities, and activities relating to physical and mental health.  Shakti works with government agencies, and partners with health, education, and legal agencies to promote women’s and children’s rights, safety and well-being in Australia.

Want to know more about Shakti?…..go to the Shakti International web page for more information and advice on how to make a donation to this very worthy cause.  Donations are very welcome and are tax deductible. 

Shakti International

Contact: Dr Sabrin Farooqui

National Coordinator

Shakti Australia Ltd


English class for Rohingya women

Job readiness program

Shakti’s workshop on International Women’s Day 2019 

English class for disadvantaged women

Sewing class for Disadvantaged women