Tag Archives: the border

Only allowing displaced Australians to return home on compassion would undermine the core rights of citizenship | Instant News

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, 40,000 displaced Australians are still trying to return home from abroad.

They can be forgiven for feeling treated like refugees by their own country.

Like millions of genuine refugees around the world, they experienced first-hand the harsh reality of strictly enforced international borders.

Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews’ recent remarks will only reinforce the impression that their country has abandoned them.

Just as we assess the claim of refugees to enter our territory on the basis of need, Prime Minister Andrews does suggested a similar approach to stranded Australians.

But this suggestion is based on a fundamental misconception about the nature of citizenship.

Citizenship rights, including the right to live in a person’s territory, are unconditional. Humans cannot lead autonomous lives if they do not have safe access to certain areas.

We cannot discuss who has more right to the core rights of citizenship if citizenship means nothing.(ABC News: Melanie Vujkovic)

Why citizenship is so important

Being able to return to your home country is one of the basics of citizenship. This allows people to make plans for themselves and their families.

The stranded Australians may not be in Australia at this time, but their nationality gives them a legitimate hope that they can pursue their life plans in Australia at any time of their life.

In the same way it is legal for me, an Australian citizen based in the South of Sydney, to expect that this year I will send my daughter to an Australian school, and take my young son for weekend walks on Australian beaches, it is legal for any stranded Australian parent anywhere in the world to have that hope.

That is what makes citizenship valuable.

In announcing the recent five-day lockdown in Victoria, Prime Minister Andrews said there needed to be “cold and hard discussion” about whether there should be a much smaller arrival program based on compassionate grounds.

We cannot have a cold and loud discussion about who has more right to the core rights of citizenship if citizenship means anything.

A hotel quarantine staff member was seen wearing a complete PPE while pushing a luggage trolley.
There is already a limit to the number of Australians who can return, to prevent the hotel quarantine system from becoming overwhelmed.(Getty Images: Asanka Ratnayake)

A person who is stateless has no place where he can develop long-term projects and relationships. He cannot lead an autonomous life.

When displaced citizens are unable to return to their citizenship status, their autonomy is severely violated precisely because they cannot pursue the projects and relationships they have developed over the years.

A troubling scenario

Consider the following scenario.

Suppose the Morrison government cancels its next federal election and extends its term of office by three more years.

They do this on the basis of expert health advice: elections are very pervasive events.

If the advice itself made sense, would it be legal for the government to cancel the election?

The answer here is “no”.

Why? Some of the fundamental rights inherent in citizenship, such as the right to vote, are rights that cannot be violated by governments in liberal democracies. And they must not be violated even if the government does act to advance the common good.

The fundamental rights of citizens are just that – fundamental. People don’t have to argue that they need those rights, they should have them because they are citizens.

Imagine again, to reduce the risk of new strains, the government decided that we should stick to the next election, but limit the number of people allowed to vote.

Suppose it is decided that only people suffering from injustice are allowed to vote because their reason for bringing about change is very strong.

Or imagine that the government decides that only people who want to vote for altruistic reasons should go to the voting booth, and everyone has to stay at home.

These examples show that the core right of citizenship is not based on need or reason.

The two women hug as they meet at the airport arrivals area.  Someone holds a balloon that says 'Welcome Home'.
Friends and family were able to reunite when travelers from New Zealand were allowed into Australia late last year.(Getty Images: James D. Morgan)

They are not like Job Seekers, childcare subsidies, or rental assistance. This is a fundamental right that is at the heart of the value of citizenship.

Once you violate a citizen’s right to vote or return to Australia, you lose the value that carries them.

That is, you throw away the value of dividing the world between groups of people who have the fundamental right to reside in a particular territory, and making political decisions about what kind of future to produce.

Once you violate the core rights of citizenship, you make the pursuit of social justice impossible. A just society recognizes that the basic rights of citizenship apply to all citizens equally, regardless of their personal situation or the reasons for exercising those rights.

Unrestricted citizenship rights vs freedom of movement

Some media outlets have compared restrictions on the number of Australians re-entering the country with similar restrictions on people traveling from one state to another.

But the analogy doesn’t fit. The right to travel between states is not like the right to reside in a person’s territory.

The claimable right of citizenship is more fundamental than the right to travel wherever he likes within a territory, as any true refugee can very well prove.

We must take care to ensure that conversations around citizenship, and returning Australians, are not hijacked by concerns around freedom of travel within Australia.

The debate we have to do is how to bring all Australians home in a way that minimizes risks to the community, and productively share responsibility for quarantine between states and the Commonwealth.

The debate we have to have is how we can make citizenship rights, which all Australians have, meaningful.

Dr Luara Ferracioli is a senior lecturer in political philosophy at the University of Sydney specializing in civic ethics, and ABC Top 5 undergraduate humanities for 2021.


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bne IntelliNews – The closure of the German-Czech border hit German companies | Instant News

Trucks and cars at the Czech border crossing with Germany have faced hours of delays since Germany tightened restrictions with the Czech Republic after establishing it as a very high risk country for coronavirus infection. German manufacturers, including carmakers, are now worried about late deliveries and a shortage of workers, which could cause their factories to crash.

The new restrictions put Germany’s vital supply chain at risk as many German companies rely on Czech input or Czech commuter workers. All but critical workers are now barred from commuting across the border, and all those crossing the border must give a negative PCR test for no more than 48 hours, causing massive queues at testing stations at the border and at the crossings themselves.

“If there is a long traffic jam at the border due to testing and registration requirements, the supply chain will most likely break down and production will stall at many passenger car plants in Germany shortly after,” said the president of the German Association. from the Hildegard Muller Automotive Industry, quoted by CNN.

“If the border traffic situation becomes worse and results in longer queues, it will no longer be possible to override production restrictions at Volkswagen. … We generally see it as the duty of politicians to ensure the free exchange of goods across national borders and create clear regulations in extraordinary circumstances like this, “a Volkswagen spokesman told CNN.

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), there are currently more than 20,000 Czech workers working in Germany, so if they cross the border with delays or can’t cross it at all, many small German companies could close.

The German region along the Czech border has posted the country’s highest coronavirus incidence rate in a week, more than 300 cases per 100,000 citizens, while the Czechs are seeing more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 population.

“We have [coronavirus infection] hotspots directly along the border, “said Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder, quoted by DW.” We have to respond. “

Currently, only selected cross-border medical workers, critical sector workers and truck drivers transiting in Germany are allowed to cross into Bavaria for short-term entry and must give a negative PCR test for no more than 48 hours.

Soder criticized the Czech government for failing to contain the outbreak. “The people are not to blame. At the same time, we cannot leave the borders open when the incidence rate is over 1,000 on the other side,” he stressed.

Rozvadov was flooded with trucks. On February 17, the queue of mostly foreign-plate truck drivers at the Rozvadov crossing stretched 10 to 12 kilometers.

“Yesterday [February 16] we successfully tested 573 people at the sampling point at the highway junction and 172 at the old Rozvadov junction. And today we hit 500 tests by 8 a.m., “said sampling team coordinator Stanislav Castecka of the Samaria Association.

About 98% of truck drivers are foreigners, many of them from Southeastern Europe. They said that the queue for testing could take up to 20 hours. In addition, Slovak citizens have bowed to German restrictions transiting through the Czech Republic, the country has also been hit by the coronavirus variant.

“We are calling for a waiver of the requirement for freight drivers to give a negative test of no more than 48 hours, upon entering Germany. This action will cause major problems, because for our drivers it is difficult to meet this requirement in practice, and will very likely trigger a chain reaction from the state another too, “said Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok in a diplomatic note to Germany.

On February 16, the Czech Republic reported 12,486 new positive cases, the highest daily increase since January 8. The total number of positive people with Covid reached 106,211. The districts worst affected by the COVID-19 variant are Cheb and Sokolov, bordering Germany, and Trutnov in the east of the country.

Citizens living in these districts have been barred from leaving these districts and those who do not live there have been barred from entering, with a few exceptions. Police have been supervising compliance with steps at the driveway.


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Switzerland- Trade during a pandemic | Instant News

(MENAFN – Swissinfo)

With borders closed and global travel restricted, trade will help us find our way out of the pandemic.

This content is published on February 15, 2021 – 11:08 February 15 2021 – 11:08 Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala View in other languages: 1

Nothing has been more important to multilateralism than COVID-19. All human beings face common enemies, pathogens that disrespect borders and act violently on treaties and territories, tariffs and trade routes. And the multilateral trading system is critical to fighting it, getting healthcare products and practitioners where they need them, as soon as they are needed, in the most efficient way. However, the current global public health crisis is weighed down by a trade crisis.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the former chairman of GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. Previously he served as the World Health Organization’s (ACT-Accelerator) COVID-19 Envoy and as the African Union’s COVID-19 special envoy. Okonjo-Iweala served twice as Nigeria’s finance minister and briefly as foreign minister.

End of insertion

At the start of the pandemic a year ago, fearing a shortage of essential medical equipment, countries sparked a wave of protectionism that has since hampered the world’s ability to fight the virus. Demand for basic but essential products such as masks, gloves and surgical gowns is rising to unprecedented levels, in some cases several thousand percent. In response, about a hundred countries and territories imposed export restrictions to protect these supplies for their own use, according to the International Trade Center. Many supplies hoarded more than their needs.

Rules not respected

Although several countries have since removed export restrictions and liberalized trade for at least some medical supplies and products, there are still restrictions that hinder trade in and access to these products. Many World Trade Organization (WTO) members do not respect rules requiring notification, transparency, and temporary export restrictions, even though notification has increased over time. The same pattern was repeated with hospital equipment. In addition, supply chain disruption is another limiting factor. As a result, trade stagnates or slows down at an opportune time when frictionless trade is not only an economic imperative but a moral and public health imperative.




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Australia suspended quarantine-free travel for New Zealand following the COVID-19 case | Instant News

Australia will halt quarantine-free travel for New Zealand, after three cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Auckland.

The trans-Tasman bubble was created so people can fly from New Zealand to Australia without spending 14 days in hotels.

However, a panel of Australian medical experts made the decision on Sunday evening to change the system.

This means that any New Zealanders flying to Australia from Monday must spend two weeks in hotel quarantine.

The new rules will remain in effect for the next three days before the situation is reassessed.

A statement on the Ministry of Health’s website said the quarantine-free travel breaks were cut after meetings with the Queensland, NSW and Victoria Chief Health Officers and Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly.

“All persons arriving on such flights originating within this three-day period must undergo 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine,” the statement read.

“The Australian Health Protection Main Committee will consider further updates from New Zealand tomorrow and provide advice.”

Professor Kelly previously said on Sunday that travel arrangements with New Zealand would not change.

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Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would “try harder and earlier” to reimpose restrictions following new cases of COVID.

New Zealand reported three new cases of COVID-19 that were acquired locally in Auckland on Sunday, sending the country’s largest city into lockdown for three days.

Auckland entered the level 3 restriction from 23:59 local time on Sunday, while the rest of New Zealand were on alert level 2.

The new case is a couple and their daughter in Auckland.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern announced that the city school will remain open to children of parents who need to work, but if not, students will be asked to stay home.

Pharmacies and supermarkets will remain open, but other businesses requiring face-to-face interaction will be closed.

The mother of the infected family works for an airline catering company.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces state approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

As a precautionary measure, food and drink on Air New Zealand flights will be suspended for domestic routes.

Ms Ardern, who urged Auckland residents to “stay at home”, said the alert level would be reviewed within 24 hours as her government carried out more testing.

Health authorities are still working to find out how families caught the virus and “whether COVID-19 can exist in the community … or whether this is the start of what could be a chain of transmission.”


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Australian universities are offering discounted rates for foreign students stranded abroad because of the coronavirus | Instant News

As Australian universities prepare for the next academic year amid the global pandemic, several institutions are offering discounted rates for foreign students.

More than 140,000 people are registered International students cannot study on Australian campuses after the Federal Government imposed border restrictions last year, according to data from the University of Australia (UA), the top body for the sector.

Australia’s international border restrictions are expected to remain in effect for the rest of this year, as it remains unclear whether the vaccine has been approved so far. prevent virus transmission. It’s also not clear how effective they are against the new coronavirus.

The tertiary sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, with 2020 saw a series of cuts for staff and courses, and this the trend is unlikely to reverse in 2021.

And because many international students studying Australian courses online may not set foot in the country for months, institutions are finding ways to prevent students from switching to courses in North America and Europe.

‘This is very disappointing’

The University of Wollongong offers scholarships for international students.(Provided: Wollongong University)

Indonesian student Naufal Muhammad Zavier is scheduled to spend the last semester of his studies in Australia at Wollongong University (UOW), until the closure of international borders last March made this impossible.

Mr Zavier has instead taken classes with UOW online and has received a 10 percent reduction in total tuition fees as a result of moving to distance learning.

You see a small laptop on a small brown wooden table with a notebook placed next to it.
This small table in the house is probably the closest Naufal to Wollongong University for now.(Source: Naufal Muhammad Zavier)

The university also provides him with international student scholarships which are equivalent to a further 30 percent reduction in fees.

“Due to the pandemic, my parents’ source of income as freelancers was also affected … UOW was also very generous in allowing us to pay tuition fees in installments,” he said.

UOW is just one of several universities that offer international students incentives to stay competitive.

“International students can still fly to the UK and Canada for face-to-face study,” Phil Honeywood, chief executive of the Australian Association of International Education (IEAA), told the ABC.

National Tertiary Education Union president Alison Barnes said the Federal Government has failed to recognize the benefits the tertiary sector brings to the Australian economy.

“It is very disappointing that the Morrison Government effectively abandoned international students at the start of the pandemic, despite happily receiving income from international students over the years, to become our fourth largest export industry in 2019 (after iron ore, coal and gas). , “said Dr. Barnes.

A woman at headquarters looks at her phone
Casual lecturers like Dash Jayasuriya from Melbourne lost their jobs last year.(ABC News: Simon Winter)

“They are being urged to return home before the border closes, and are not entitled to government assistance if they remain.

“Many have lost part-time jobs as a result of closures and restrictions.

The university sector lost $ 1.8 billion in revenue last year, and at least 17,300 jobs, according to figures released by UA earlier this month.


The ABC has reached out to the Federal Department of Education for comment.

Universities attract students to continue learning

Students walk past the Supreme Court at the University of Queensland.
Institutions including the University of Queensland have offered discounted rates.(ABC News: Giulio Saggin)

Since universities cannot bring students onto campus, they offer a variety of alternatives to keep them active.

UOW offers an unlimited number of scholarships – a type of grant – up to a 20 percent reduction in tuition fees for international students studying remotely, because of the “unique challenges” they face, including different time zones and technological constraints.

“The UOW scholarship is implemented in addition to the various scholarships already available for international students,” said a UOW spokesperson.

The spokesman added the university “continues to work with the sector and government on plans to allow international students to travel to Australia”, without specifying what the plans were.

The University of Queensland has also offered a 12.5 percent rebate on tuition fees for full-paying international course students who are affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.

This rebate is automatically applied to more than half of all starting and continuing international students who have studied online from their home country since the second half of 2020.

University of Adelaide overseas students enrolled in undergraduate, postgraduate and Pre-Enrollment English Language Program (PEP) are entitled to a discount of up to 20 percent which will be applied automatically upon admission.

Several universities in Australia, including Griffith University, also offer scholarships that include financial assistance covering up to 15 percent of tuition fees for international students outside Australia.

The Australian National University (ANU), meanwhile, has turned China’s only overseas facility into a study center for foreign students unable to reach Australia.

ANU Shanghai Studies Center
More than 100 Chinese students who are supposed to study in Canberra regularly go to the ANU Shanghai Studies Center.(Provided: Shanghai ANU Study Center)

The manager of the Shanghai ANU Study Center, Chenyu Ling, said more than 100 students from all over China have taken advantage of the hub.

“This is an immersive study space,” said student Shi Xinyang, who has conducted online marketing courses in the Shanghai hub.

Shi Xinyang
Xinyang said the fast internet connection at ANU Shanghai Hub helped her with online classes.(Provided)

“[It’s] a place that helps me concentrate on my studies.

“At home, I can be easily distracted. The internet speed is good too. I have never had a problem with using Zoom on a hub.”

Tutors receive online training, but challenges remain

University in Sydney
Universities lose more than 17,000 jobs in 2020 according to Australian Universities.(ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

As of January this year, nearly 164,000 students – or about 30 percent of Australian student visa holders – were overseas, according to data from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

Mr Honeywood from the IEAA said several Australian universities had invested a lot of money in training lecturers and tutors to work in an online environment.

Amanda Achmadi, senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s School of Architecture, Building and Planning, received training during the university’s transition to online studies.

He said the teaching staff was “very resilient” because they had to switch to online teaching in two to three weeks during the first half of last year.

However, there are still challenges. Zavier said the time difference between Indonesia and Australia was huge for him.

“The class I appointed was the morning class Australian time, which ran from 8 am to 9 pm last semester,” he said.

“The time difference is four hours, so I have to get up at 4:00 am.”


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