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Refugees in Australia

Discuss about the Refuge and Challenges in Australia for Iraqi Sunnis.

People who have been displaced from their original home or place of birth are referred to as refugees (Liamputtong et al, 2015.) Such persons at time are compelled to cross the national borders and never to come back to their home lands in one piece. People of this kind are termed as refugees or asylum seeker and remain so till allowed immigrant status by the particular state they have been compelled into. Australia for instance has the highest number of refugees around the globe thanks to its dedicated humanitarian migration program (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). Statistics from concerned departments of Australia highlights last year-2017 as having the highest number of immigrants of about twenty four thousands. Most of refugees in Australia are nationals of Iraq, Syria, Myanmar and Afghanistan with Iraq producing more immigrants.

A good number of Iraq nationals are currently living in Australia under a realm termed as Iraqi families. Their population comprises Kurds, Turkmens, Armenians, Assyrians, Turks, Arabs,Chaldeans, Mandaeans, Yazidiand Jews ( Farnsworth, G. (2014).)The majority of these people fled Iraq mainly due to the Gulf War which ended in 1991 having sent a total of 5186 Iraqi families across Australian border. The flee was basically for safety reasons paused by ethno-religious harassment from the majority communities back in Iraq (Baines, 2015).As per Australian census it is clear that Iraqi families occupy states and territories such as Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia as well as Queensland (McKenna, 2016.)Of the four territories, New South Wales bears the highest number of about twenty nine thousands of Iraqi families followed by Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland respectively. As per the age distribution 8.1 % of the Iraqi is aged 0-14 year whereas 17.6%represented 15-24 years who are the teens.The aged are the least in number. In terms of gender, there are 24 851 males which translates to 51.6% while23 317   represented females an equivalent of 48.1 %.( Shields, Drolet & Valenzuela, 2016).)

FIGURE (1) Age Distribution among Iraqis in Australia (Magone, 2016).)

Iraqi population in Australia is perceived as diverse at demographic level. Majority of the people are Christians actually half of the population to be prices practice Christianity as compared to only 36% being the Muslims. This is very opposite to back in Iraq where 97% of the population is Muslims with only 1% being Christians as per the two thousand and eleven census. Mostly spoken languages by the Iraqi families in Australia are; Arabic which has the highest speakers of about twenty five thousands then Assyrian Neo Aramaic, and Chaldean Neo-Aramaic respectively (Beauchamp, 2015). English is also spoken through  or by about  sixty eight percent who can fluently use English while the rest do not speak it fluently or do not speak it at all. Iraq migrants in Australia employ several means of communication in their day today activities. The means can be categorized into two as verbal and non-verbal (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 2017). Dispute these means they still face difficulties in their commutation as they try not embarrass themselves. Verbally, they pass messages very indirectly summed in time-consuming and meandering fashion (Low & Kalekin-Fishman, 2017.). To easy the communication, the Iraqis prefer questions that open ended as these permits them to access their response in most convenient way and time thus bringing forth courteous and acceptable replies. They are also very mindful about the other person’s respect in the conversation. Their meanings are usually very natural which avoid direct negative responses. Arabic speakers commonly apply honorifics which highlight titles of the people and show their esteem as well respect (Sampson, 2015).

Iraqi Families in Australia

Under non-Verbal means of communication, Iraqis make use physical Contact particular among those familiar to one another in privacy, personals space for the people of the opposite gender in the process of interaction, eye contact where by males and females lower their gaze and in the process avoiding sustained eye contact and this is common among Islam’s, obscene gestures, indications of the hands, feet and beckoning are some of the non-verbal means of communication among Iraqis in Australia (Central Intelligence Agency, 2017).

The Iraqis in Australia lead self-dependent lives as skilled and professionals. Some practice teaching, law, nursing, doctorate, acting comedy and so many more as a way of livelihood. However, Australia not being their homeland, many of the Iraqis face numerous changes brought forth by both the community and the government particularly its policies. Many of these challenges can be termed as acculturation which in attempt to explain it, is a manner of cultural adaptation which occurs in a place with straight interaction amid two or more social communities with diverse cultural upbringings (Valtonen, 2016)

Some of these challenges include;

  • Establishing a home that is within ones means
  • Getting employed
  • language and communication obstacles
  • racism and discrimination
  • public attitudes, intellectual incapacity and family ferocity
  • poor education among schooling immigrants
  • learning how to communicate in English
  • cut communication links with families back in the home country
  • experience bodily and mental health problems as a result of trauma as well as guilt for being a survivor
  • financial constraints and low income
  • cultural dissimilarities in nurturing practices

There are a number of explanations why the refugees find themselves in such situations as I why they had to leave there own homelands (COMMISCEO Global, 2016). The main reason for the Iraqis in Australia is linked to the Gulf war of 1990 to 1991 in which more than35 nations led by the United States formed forces against Iraq after it invaded and took over Kuwait.

Also it can be said that the refugees in Australia are also as a result of persecution that is rampant back in Iraq particularly in central and southern where the Christians do not publicly display as being Christians. Christian under untold persecution and discrimination at spot check, campuses, workstations and government offices. Christian societies are vulnerable to abductions and attacks facilitated by Islamic radicals. Persecution is also directed to ethnic minorities (Bennett, 2015).

Dispute the fact that there are numerous humanitarian organizations like Humanitarian Settlement Services Program committed to help and support refugees in Australia, there are still cases of service inaccessibility by the group in question particularly its teens. To pin point the likely causes as to why the group is not accessing services a case study illustrated factors such as;

  1. Illiteracy
  2. Drug and alcohol abuse
  3. Suspicion

The quality or state of being incapable to make meaning of the written work or write is termed as illiteracy (Falzarano et al, 2015). Iraq refuge teens in Australia are illiterate as they drop out of school before they acquire essential knowledge needed by the society for job markets. Also it is more obvious that the teens lack awareness of the importance or the existence of humanitarian organizations in the surrounding. This local population does not comprehend the reason why it is significant for them to go to school which is being offered by the humanitarian support groups (Cultural Advisory Unit, 2010). Disregard in the welfares of proper education as displayed by the teens can also be reasons why they are continuing to be poor and unemployed. Likewise it can be argued that the population is too large for the Australian government to fully provide education for every child.

Demographic Diversity

Iraq teens are deeply into drug and alcohol abuse as stated out in the case study evidenced by the parents. The teens might be using drugs and drinking alcohol so as to relax, enjoy, be part of a crowd, out of snooping or to minimize physical and psychological pain and trauma they experience in their newly found home states (Williams, 2016). This habit compromises with their health and treatment as well as placing themselves in the wrong side of the law. The teens rendered culprits on sight and this hinders them from accessing administrative services like reporting an injustice done onto them. Drug abuse also   configures one’s body system making it resistance or unresponsive to medical treatments thus denying teen migrants services available at the supportive organizations (Pittaway, Bartolomei & Doney, 2016.).

As per the case study, several groups are affected by the fact that the teens are not educated, unemployed, drug users and suspects on sight. The teens are idle as well as their relationships with parents are wanting. These people include shop owners at the shopping centers, the police and parents as well as teens themselves (Hepworth et al, 2016). It is stated that drugs and crime are related and this has been established by research studies carried out by the National Institute of Justice, a research institution based in U.S. which works in conjunction with the Department of Justice and echoed by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in which about sixty percent of persons who get detained for various kinds of offences upon being examined they are found to be illicit drug users (Culture Crossing Guide, 2014). This can explain why the shop owners in the case study have to call the police to clear the young teens from the vicinity. The NIJ added that drug fanatics have a high propensity to involve in crimes. This is because addicts require cash to maintain their drug lifestyles (Charleston, Gajewska-De Mattos & Chapman, 2017).

Also among the affected groups is a family of Iraq families in Australia .The drug abuse and alcohol consumption has made the parents’ relations with their children not appealing. Thus to say instability among the family systems is at stake. The teens suffering from the habit have become unreliable thus cannot be counted on to do whatever their parents say. The parents in the case study admit that their children are disobedient and don’t follow the laid rules anymore. This has resulted in misunderstanding and unsteadiness among families (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2017).

The teen members of Iraqi families face great danger of contracting both short-term and long-term health problems as a result of drug and alcohol abuse and the ultimate end results are considerable financial implications. This is realized through numerous numbers of visits to emergency department and hospitalization. In the cases of chronic conditions there are varied implications ranging from heart disease, cancers of the mouth, breast, throat, stroke, esophagus, liver and colon, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis of the liver, dementia and depression and the list is endless.

Communication Means

Australian supportive organizations as they endeavor to make immigrants comfortable, there are obstacles that make their work not to score highly. However, there are various applicable solutions that when put in place the humanitarian organizations and the refugees will be at ease. Recent study has highlighted the significant barriers to employment confronted by immigrants and humanitarian personnel (Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2017). The Refugee community organizations can afford vital employment networks and sustenance thus assisting newer fellows of societies to get work or to achieve Australian job familiarity and access to the employment arena through recognized ethnic-run commerce (Harper, Gabrielsen, & Carpenter, 2018). 

Available and grounded communal fellows running a job or employed can perform as channels linking employers and other community individuals in search of errands.

Since language is a barrier in illiterate migrants, lessening the requirement for linguistic and bicultural expediters like translators will play a great deal in earning the immigrants jobs.  Refugee community organizations can as well arise and give hand in mainstream service provision, predominantly in case or places having a divergence concerning community prerequisites and finance urgencies and effectiveness (Refugee Council of Australia, 2016).Equip youth migrants with information and skills before young people migrate in search for work, they ought to be armed with appropriate training and life skills. This will assist them with an upper hand when it comes to economic prospects in their terminus country or society. When rights of youth labor are upheld the chances of them being at stake are reduced (Wessendorf, 2018). This can be made sure through a number of ways so as to avoid exploitation as well as abuse. This can also be achieved through numerous theories such as the Psychosocial Theory by Erik Erikson and the social learning theory or the social cognitive theory.  These may include:

  • Sharing steadfast and significant information about what is to be expected on their way.
  • Enlightening them of their labor privileges and accountabilities
  • Giving ways and means of reporting mistreatment in the destination republic or society
  • Aiding incorporation into the destination country or society by availing information on its culture (Department of Immigration and Citizenship, 2015).

Ensure labor agreements are based on human rights standards. Countries involved in the reception of young migrants need to make sure that labor migration arrangements are based on ethical enrollment and decent work values. Stakeholders, including origin and destination governments as well as personal institutions, need to involve in universal methods to implement and evaluate working environments and decrease the potential risk of abuse and exploitation in destination countries (Metz, 2011).

Introducing chance for social schmoozing, mentorship as well as abilities expansion. Social networks have a crucial part to play as far as endowing young individuals with essential information that can unswervingly decrease the threats related to  migration is concerned. In addition stakeholders can also smooth social, cultural and economic incorporation in both destination republics (Geert Hofstede, 2016). However; migrants regularly do not have access to reliable social provision as well as linkages, particularly in the terminus republics. People in charge should consequently be joining forces to fix newly arrived refugees with reliable neighbors.

Upsurge decent work opportunities as well as providing financial support for incoming migrants Skilled young labor migrants entering the countries, armed with skills, business links, experiences, as well as financial funds have potential to impact beneficially to the economic growth within the countries (Lipka, 2014).

Spoken Languages

States or countries from which these migrants come from should be performing all within their ability to ensure these young generations are reintegrated back to their society. Young migrants’ reflectivity should be heightened in the policy and practice as this has been found to be only thirty percent among the two hundred and thirty two millions intercontinental migrants. This translate to a very low developmental influence as youth today are allocated little chances to contribute in migration policy discussions and practices (Gidda, 2014).The youth to be, current as well as those of the past need to be involved mechanisms whether participatory by Participants taking part  in youth immigration matters. Promote youth entrepreneurship and offer training on how to focus on jobs.

While all these endorsements require to be executed to safeguard and increase the involvement of teen employment migrants, migration ought not to be looked at as a hefty blow. But instead, administrations require inspiring venture in their country’s young businesspersons, and offering training on how to focus on jobs to jobless persons. This has high chances of motivating young person’s to remain at home instead of loitering in market places and shopping centers and in the process will be chipping in to local and national growth (Rambaree, Berg, & Thomson, 2017).

Being social workers is normally a challenging but rewarding career. This is due to the fact that social workers are tasked with the responsibility of helping families, individuals, and even groups of individuals to effectively deal with the numerous problems that they may be encountering in order to enhance the lives of their clients.

Controlling drug abuse among teens by the service organizations may include training parents or guardians of the teens improved communication skills pertaining the family .Also caregivers may be given suggestions suitable correction measures   and other family management methodologies to help them control and reverse their children’s behavior. As for the organizations, they can directly teach, campaign and join forces to decrease drug and alcohol issues in the immigrant teens in the country (Jalabi, 2014). This arrangement can be achieved through letting learners to be intermingling and in the process acquire skills that will help them refrain from drug usage.

Organizations are called for to engage the community in the curbing the trait e.g. by calling upon the religion and law enforcers in their attempts to promote anti-drug customs and pro-social activities. The mentioned groups set media and forums that help deliver messages in school, workplaces, and religious bodies and through the media (Kassoua, 2017). Research has it that programs that reach youths through multiple settings are able to extra ordinarily impact public standards. Community-based curriculums similarly take part in the improvement of rules or implementation of systems.


Emigration and refugees are both national and international concerns that require joined attention. Only in 2017, over 100,000 refugees made their way across the Mediterranean Sea in search of green pastures in Europe. This journey is accompanied by untold challenges such as mortalities at the sea between Indonesia and Australia as they travel by boat. Resettlement challenges in their countries of destination, discrimination trauma and so on. Australia has had its share of refugees since particularly since the enactment of the program that supports the entering and settlement of refugees in its sates (Khalidi, McIlroy, &Neumayer, 2012). Also it is clear that there are massive attempts to welcome, settle, integrate and support emigrants in Australia through numerous nongovernmental organizations. However, the targeted groups have not been maximizing on the available support due to challenges such as illiteracy, language barrier, criminal indulgence like substance abuse and many others. Iraq has been placed at the top of the list in the number of refugees that flee into Australia seeking for shelter and safety. 

Challenges Faced by Iraqi Refugees in Australia


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