News / Asia

Australian Report Says Race Not to Blame for Foreign Student Assaults

Indian student Nitin Garg's relative Pritam Singh sits in an ambulance besides Garg's body, at the cargo terminal of international airport in New Delhi, India (File Photo)
Indian student Nitin Garg's relative Pritam Singh sits in an ambulance besides Garg's body, at the cargo terminal of international airport in New Delhi, India (File Photo)
Phil Mercer

An Australian government report on a series of violent attacks on foreign students in recent years says racism may not have been the main motive. Australia’s Institute of Criminology has found that attacks on foreign students, especially those from India, were probably the work of opportunistic criminals. However, critics have said that it is inconceivable that race was not a factor in some assaults and robberies. 

The Australian Institute of Criminology studied more than 420,000 foreign students during a nine-year period and also examined police records. Researchers say it is Australia’s most comprehensive study of student victimization.

The survey found that visitors from India, China, South Korea, Malaysia and the United States were physically assaulted at significantly lower rates than the general population.

However, cases of robbery against Indian students were markedly higher than the national average and twice that for other international student groups.

The study examined a series of attacks on young Indians in Melbourne and Sydney between 2005 and 2009 that caused diplomatic friction between Canberra and New Delhi.  India accused of Australia of not doing enough to reign in racist thugs it accused of targeting expatriates.

The Institute of Criminology has discounted race as a prime reason for the assaults.  It believes Indians were targeted because their English language skills enabled them to get shift work in gas stations and restaurants, where they were often using public transport late at night.

“A lot of the robberies that we have seen that have contributed to their over-representation appear to be linked to the fact that they are working in industries that are trading late at night, that potentially have lower levels of security, which arguably are those that are traditionally targeted by robbers irrespective of racial motivation," said Jason Payne, the research manager at the Violence and Serious Crime Monitoring Program at the Institute of Criminology in Canberra. "There was also a double in the rate of robberies against students from an Indian background that occurred in locations like service stations, late-night trading convenience stores and in taxis or in and around taxi ranks.”   

However, critics believe the study has ignored the significance that racial prejudice has in assaults on foreign students.

Jesse Marshall, the president of Australia’s National Union of Students, believes that bigotry must be a factor in some cases.

“When you have got Indian international students three times more likely than American international students to be assaulted on or near public transport, how can you say the color of that student’s skin has not had anything to do with the fact that they have been assaulted,” said Marshall.

The attacks on young Indians not only damaged Australia’s relationship with India but also hurt the reputation of the country’s $18 billion international education industry.  

Since the series of attacks on Indian students, the government and the police have worked hard to improve security for the tens of thousands of young foreigners who travel to Australia to study each year.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid