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Episode 5: When the answer is no

Illustration of a boy in black and white

I was not born in a hospital, I was born at home in a traditional way, I don’t have a birth certificate.


When the stakes of getting an asylum decision wrong are life and death, you would think a fair review should be part of any robust justice system. But one teenager’s experience shows how arbitrary and capricious it can be in Australia. Arman’s claim for asylum was rejected because, briefly, the Australian Government thought it was that it was safe for Hazaras to return to Afghanistan. This is no longer the Government’s view, yet the decision still stands – and Arman has nowhere to turn.


The voices in Temporary come alive in longform journalism – vividly illustrated by photographers and artists who themselves are refugees and people seeking asylum – on a series hub produced by UNSW’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law.

Temporary is hosted by Sisonke Msimang, and produced by Kara Jensen-Mackinnon and Miles Herbert, with editorial support from Lauren Martin and Miles Martignoni. Original music composed by Lama Zakharia, mixed and mastered by Ryan Pemberton, with series artwork by Matt Huynh. Temporary is a project from the UNSW Centre for Ideas and Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law co-produced with Guardian Australia, inspired by the book Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs by Jane McAdam and Fiona Chong. Episode illustration by M Jafari.

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