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that imbecile ruddock

  1. FallGuy

    2,070 Posts.

    Due to incompetence in our immigration processes Australia often locks refugees away in jails run by the same (US) private prison corporation as the normal jails - some for more than 4 years. There is no legal limit to how long they can be held. They are referred to by a number. Visiting rights are restricted, even by lawyers and relatives. Other countries with mandatory detention have a limit on how long they can imprison people. Women and small children are kept in the same conditions.

    This is an extract of the report to Federal Parliament by our Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission:


    Australia maintains a mandatory detention policy which requires that all those who come to our shores without authorisation are detained in immigration centres on arrival, until they are either granted visas or removed to their countries of origin or to another country such as Nauru or Papua New Guinea. Usually these people are asylum seekers, people who have left their own families, homes and countries to seek protection as refugees in Australia.

    It is important to realise that in so doing these asylum seekers, under Australian law, have committed no crime. The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs assesses their refugee applications with regard to Australia’s international obligations as a signatory to the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.

    So why should the Australian community worry whether these people are being treated fairly while their refugee status is either confirmed or rejected?

    The answer is that Australia has previously agreed to international treaties in which we undertook to uphold the human rights of all those in Australia, including those who arrive in Australia seeking protection. To use our own words, it is part of our tradition of a “fair go” and “mateship”. Indeed, Australians helped put together the first human rights’ declarations at the United Nations following World War Two. Australians recognise that those seeking protection are very often fleeing persecution and horror.

    Of course we have the right to maintain the integrity of our borders. Australia is a sovereign nation. We want our elected government to make laws concerning who can enter Australia and who can stay in the country.

    However, border protection is quite a different issue from asylum seeker protection. Australia’s right to defend its borders and maintain its sovereignty is not being questioned by human rights advocates. Neither is Australia’s right to immigration control.

    But it is wrong to suggest that the integrity of the border protection system is threatened by the small, sad, flotilla of leaky boats with their desperately fragile cargo of asylum seekers. We can maintain a system of visas and identity, security and health checks without stomping all over our “fair go” heritage.

    Indeed, many countries comparable to Australia detain unauthorised arrivals to establish their identity and to carry out necessary health checks. However, this detention is either not as rigidly applied or is subject to appropriate judicial checks. Sweden, for example, like Australia, has a policy of mandatory detention of unauthorised arrivals. This means that under the law all unauthorised arrivals without exception are detained. However, in Sweden this detention is for a short period of time and is subject to judicial review at various stages. In Australia the detention is often for the long term and has no judicial oversight to prevent indeterminate detention.

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