The Development and Evolution of Nauru, and the Work of the UNCHR to Support Refugees

Category: Blog
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As global conflicts rise, more countries are hit with famine and natural disasters and poverty is a major problem within many of the developing countries falling behind the much capitalised Western countries. Due to a cheaper workforce, many large companies in the West are exploiting smaller nations and making vast amounts of profit. In other nations people flee due to persecution, war, poverty and natural disasters – fighting for their life – to find a better home for themselves and usually their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons or daughters.





According to the UN 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced around the world. This is the highest number of displaced people that have been recorded in human history. As of 2017 there are 21.3 million refugees, 10 million stateless people and only 107,000 refugees have been resettled. Of the 21.3 million refugees 53% of them have fled these three primary countries – Somalia, Syria and Afghanistan. The countries with the largest intake of refugees is currently Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon and Iran.


Each day 33,972 people are forced to flee their homes.


However, in spite of all of this the UNHCR are aiding and helping those that are displaced and seeking asylum. As of December 2016 the UNCHR works in 128 countries and employs 10,800 staff.



You find more on the statistical side of the refugee crisis here at the UNCHR website


Financially the UNCHR is almost made up entirely of voluntary donations 86% of which come from various governments and the European Union. In 2013 the UNCHR received US$ 5.3Billion – as this number continues to grow due to a raised awareness of the issue, many an increasing number of refugees are being to treated to and looked after.




Nauru – A Brief History


The economy of Nauru has entirely relied on phosphate, with a natural abundance of the matter, it has led to the exploitation and disruption of the islands natural states. At one point in the islands history nearly 80% of the island was in the process of being stripped mined. Phosphate which sells for US$115 per metric ton was shipped out of Nauru and sent off to other countries in return for the continual mining that was occurring on Nauru.



The effects of this mining have left the island in distress and many citizens displaced from their homes. Now instead of mining the precious phosphate Australia how looks to strand thousands of refugees and just ‘make them go away’. By ignoring the constant issues heard from Nauru such as instable physiological states, sexual and physical abuse, depression and self-harm the Australian Government do little to condemn the obscene actions on the island. But if any of those issues happen in Australia, the press would eat it up. It certainly demonstrates the lack of empathy and concern that the general Australian public display for those who have fled from their homes to escape war or persecution.



Nauru has been settled for approximately 3,000 years and was first discovered by the Polynesian and Micronesian people. They lived primal and simple lifestyles living off the land, originally there were 12 clans on Nauru (alluding to the 12 pointed star on the Nauru national flag). Later in 1798 British whalers on the Hunter met with the Nauruan people with the British not leaving the boat nor the Nauruan people boarding it. From 1830 the Nauruan people came into contact with Europeans who stopped at the island to replenish on supplies such as fresh water and food.


Later in 1886 Germany was granted control of Nauru under the Anglo-German Declaration, and Germany seized control of all firearms that were in possession of the Nauru people. Later in 1900 prospector Albert Ellis discovered the islands rich sources of phosphate. This sparked an era of exploitation.



By 1906 the Pacific Phosphate Company had begun to exploit the vast sources of phosphate on Nauru and made its first exports in 1907. Later in the outbreak of WWI Australian troops took control of Nauru from the Germans and it became a part of British territory. Later in 1919 the United Kingdom signed the Nauru Island Agreement, which also created a board known as the British Phosphate Commission which took over the rights to phosphate mining and exports.

In 1966 Nauru became a self-governing country, following in 1968 Nauru was declared as the world’s smallest independent republic. The Nauruan people purchased large chunks of the British Phosphate Commission and converted it to the Nauru Phosphate Corporation and began to over mine and exploit the land. Due to such high levels of phosphate exportation Nauru had the Second Highest GDP per capita and living standards were exceptional for the standard of developing countries. In 1989 Nauru took Legal Action against Australia and claimed Australia failed to provide an environmental remedy for the aftermath of their phosphate mining, this resulted in an out of court settlement which is still undisclosed. Nauru then joined the UN in 1999.



Due to the high economic reliability on phosphate mining and the depletion of phosphate (in 2006 all reserves were cleaned out) Nauru fell from the high money making country into more of a developing country, by the beginning of the 2000s Nauru had little to no assets and money. Later it was found that Nauru and three other pacific islands were money laundering bases for narcos and Russia crime figures which resulted in a banning of money transactions from four major US banks.



In 2001 Nauru received world attention when it became involved in the Tampa Affair. The Tampa Affair was a Norwegian cargo ship transporting asylum seekers (primarily from Afghanistan) to Australia. The refugees were rescued and transported back to Nauru, an arrangement known as the Pacific Solution. The Nauru government later closed its borders to international visitors, barring them from seeing the treatment of refugees on the island.


In December 2003, the refugees on Nauru started a hunger strike in protest of the horrendous conditions that the refugees were forced to live in while in suspension. Australian medical forces were deployed in early 2004 to see that the refugees were patched up and feeling well.



Today Nauru is used as a detention centre for more than 540 asylum seekers (no visa) including 70 children. Many inquiries have been made into the treatment of the refugees within the detention centre and more about that issue can be found here:


Nauru Detention – The Case Study


The treatment of refugees needs to be improved and Australia needs to find new ways to implement refugees into our society. By making communities and housing blocks for them is not enough, we need to allocate a section of the tax going towards the education and welfare for not just refugees but all people within Australia going through hardships – homeless people, refugees, the sick – all need to be seen to and not neglected as they are now.




Do You Want To Make a Difference?


If you want to help out and speak out against the refugee problem in Australia, then you can do a variety of things. Organise a community gathering, host a meeting on it, speak to your local council, write a post on Facebook. There is literally no end to the things you can achieve if you truly set your mind to accomplishing your goals. We too have taken small actions to begin our campaign on the abolishment of the Nauru Detention Centres. Sign our petition here to support the abolishment of the Nauru and Manus Island Detention Centre and Promote the Fair Treatment of Refugees. You can find the link for this petition here:


The Refugee Petition: Abolish Nauru and Manus Island Detention Centres


Our goal is to get 100 signatures, then move onto larger numbers until we see change has been implemented. We one-day hope that our leaders will recognise the importance of treating all people equally, regardless of religion, race, sexuality or political views. The quicker we are to provide support and relief to those in need, the more of an example we set and can inspire a new generation of peace.




Now if you disagree with the views that we communicate on that site, that is completely fine! Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion and views. We don’t want to or imply any offence or disrespect when talking about political issues like so. We simply want to educate, inform and come to mutual decisions that can help people.


That’s all for today! If you want to read more you can find more stuff to read below!



Want to contact us? Then you can do so here. If you would like to see any post then leave it in the comments or contact us. We hope to see you again.


From Earth To Man.




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