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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid