Asylum seekers in Australia raise their voices | World | Breaking news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 11.07.2014

Visit the new DW website

Take a look at the beta version of We're not done yet! Your opinion can help us make it better.

  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages


Asylum seekers in Australia raise their voices

Australia's treatment of asylum seekers, including its policy of turning back boats at sea, is under scrutiny. Those who do reach Australia face new obstacles, but a unique choir is helping them make their voices heard.

Listen to audio 07:53

Voices Without Borders

The treatment of a group of asylum seekers who were returned to Sri Lanka after being screened at sea has led to questions about whether Australia is breaching its obligations under international law.

Australia's government, led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is determined to stop boatloads of asylum seekers from reaching Australian territory. Hundreds of people have died while attempting the often dangerous journey to Australia in unseaworthy boats, on trips arranged by people smugglers.

Those who do make it to Australia by boat end up facing long waits, often in offshore immigrant detention centers.

If they end up on the Australian mainland, migrants may face more waiting in onshore detention facilities or in "community detention," a form of immigration detention where asylum seekers live in the community and are provided a basic living allowance, but no opportunity for paid work, while their application for refugee status is assessed.

A choir and cooking program in Melbourne called "Voices without Borders" aims to give these asylum seekers an opportunity to express themselves and a way to break down barriers.

Audios and videos on the topic