The pyramid of suffering

The story of peaceful community activism to prevent baby Asha from being returned to detention on Manus Island has been celebrated. It is right and good that the outpouring of communityand professional – goodwill has at least delayed the return of the infant to what are reported to be the terrible conditions of the detention centre on Nauru.

Despite individual ‘wins’ – such as the baby Asha decision – Australia’s asylum seeker laws (and policies) involve unresolved systemic issues. As happy as I am for the temporary reprieve for the infant Asha and her family I cannot help but wonder if wins for individual cases, as important as they are, fail to gain any traction on the central issues.

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