Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


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The Politics of Australian Asylum and Border Policy: Escaping the Duelling Paradigms

By Jonathan Kent, University of Toronto

The Abbott government’s Operation Sovereign Borders policy appears to have stopped irregular maritime arrivals to Australia. In the first six months of 2013 (under Labor), 13,108 individuals arrived by boat, while during the first half of 2014 (under the Abbott Coalition Government) there were no boat arrivals.

The Government justifies its tough border policy using the humane and noble logic that it prevents people from dying at sea and puts an end to the exploitation of desperate souls by people smugglers. Whatever the figures on arrivals are, it is far more difficult to estimate the number of individuals who no longer have a viable pathway to a ‘durable solution’ now that Australia has shut the door. Though the current policy meets its most practical objective of ‘stopping the boats’, it is neither a stable nor a viable longterm policy. Continue Reading →


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Jonathan Kent

Welcome Jonathan Kent!

A PhD scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Jonathan Kent will be visiting the Centre until early August. Jonathan’s research considers the regional response to irregular migration in the Asia Pacific, and asks how and why regional cooperation has emerged, and how norms surrounding the regulation of irregular migration have evolved.


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Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

We are happy to announce the successful recipients of CIGJ Visiting PhD Scholarships for 2014: congratulations to Mariana Assis (The New School for Social Research); Ciara O’Connell (University of Sussex); Mikko Rajavuori (University of Turku); Yvette Selim (University of New South Wales); and Nathan Willis (Southern Cross University). We also look forward to welcoming Jonathan Kent (University of Toronto) and Betheli O’Carroll (University of Queensland) as Visiting PhD Scholars at the Centre later this year. We will introduce all our PhD visitors individually to Regarding Rights readers over the course of the year – and we look forward to their contributions to our human rights conversation! Our thanks as well to everyone who applied – the strength of the applications we received made our decision-making extremely difficult. If you missed out this year, please do think about applying again next year.