Last Thursday, a boat carrying hundreds of asylum seekers from north Africa caught fire just offshore of Lampedusa island, Italy. Passengers moved to one side of the boat to escape the flames which caused the boat to capcize, forcing the passengers into the water. The tragedy that unfolded is a confirmed 309 deaths of people mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, including children.
Lampedusa is a known port of entry for asylum seekers fleeing north Africa to Europe with over 8,500 arrivals since the start of the year.
The Italian government has declared a national day of mourning for those who drowned and will hold state funerals for the victims of this tragedy. The Italian Prime Minster and European Commission president visited the dead in Lampedusa to pay their respects.
It is hard to fathom such a response from the Australian government towards those who have died at sea on dangerous boat voyages to Australia. BOb’s Dr Claudia Tazreiter has commented on the Lampedusa boat tragedy for ABC News, The Drum (October 10, 2013) comparing the response to deaths at sea between Italy and Australia. In her article ‘Why should we care about lives lost at sea?’ Tazreiter considers how Australia could learn from European responses of dignity and respect to these recent border deaths.
Find out more:
by Philip Chubb “My name is Kevin, I’m from Queensland and I’m here to help.” … Continue reading Power Failure
A new Senate election looms large for WA voters
by Narelle Miragliotta The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) officially declared the result of the full recount … Continue reading A new Senate election looms large for WA voters
From Hawke to Shorten: the ALP’s vexed history with the carbon tax
by Nick Economou As the new leader of the Labor opposition, Bill Shorten has a … Continue reading From Hawke to Shorten: the ALP’s vexed history with the carbon tax
On the Hunt for credible information 
by Ailie Gallant A valid argument about a scientific issue requires support using robust, objective, … Continue reading On the Hunt for credible information 
Moving forward and moving on: Rudd, Roxon and the future of the ALP
by Shaun Carney As Paul Keating told Julia Gillardnot so long ago, every prime minister is … Continue reading Moving forward and moving on: Rudd, Roxon and the future of the ALP
All that glitters was not necessarily gold in Labor’s leadership poll
by Nick Economou New Labor leader Bill Shorten has vowed to continue on the path … Continue reading All that glitters was not necessarily gold in Labor’s leadership poll
Palmer set to be in the new Senate’s driving seat
by Zareh Ghazarian The 2013 Senate election was a triumph for new minor parties as … Continue reading Palmer set to be in the new Senate’s driving seat
The 2013 Senate contest: Australia lurches to the right
by Nick Economou With the official count of the Senate now completed, the implications of … Continue reading The 2013 Senate contest: Australia lurches to the right
“Erasing refugees”: Hot topic at politics and journalism election forum
Refugees, climate change, and gender were the focus of the recent election and remain a … Continue reading “Erasing refugees”: Hot topic at politics and journalism election forum
Count border deaths campaign: Still in the news
In October 2012 the Border Crossing Observatory launched the Count Border Deaths campaign to raise awareness that … Continue reading Count border deaths campaign: Still in the news
Fieldwork on irregular migration
Irregular migrants are an important group of people to engage in discussions around travel experiences, … Continue reading Fieldwork on irregular migration
Those ‘accidental’ senators
by David Holmes Now that all Senate seats are looking settled, we are left to ponder … Continue reading Those ‘accidental’ senators