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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100% Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora