Imagine you live in a country with an oppressive government and even worse your enthnic group is being persecuted by that government, would you not want to leave even if it means selling all your possessions? This is a scenario faced by thousands of people every year who are classed as asylum seekers. Brindha, the 9 year old Tamil asylum seeker who on a crowded boat off the Indonesian coast, made a heartbreaking plea to Australian journalists to please save them, the prime minister delivered a cold reply: “I make absolutely no apology whatsoever for taking a hard line on illegal immigration to Australia.” The 253 asylum seekers – not illegal immigrants – on that boat had sacrificed everything they had to make a desperate bid for safety from the systematic slaughter being wrought on them by the Sri Lankan government. They are fleeing a situation where the Sri Lankan government is killing 1400 a week of the 300,000 detained in concentration camps. This is a horror that drives people to flee with nothing other than the clothes on their back, is what politicians and media have taken to calling a “push factor.”There is absolutely nothing illegal about seeking asylum, about arriving without authorisation or papers, or about coming by unregistered boats as long as there is a legitimate reason states the United Nations. However the Australian Government still labels them illegal immigrants and places them in Detention Centres which in most cases results in the emotional and psychological damage to a refugee. In 2002, the Medical Journal of Australia described the extreme psychological and emotional damage done to people detained in immigration detention in Australia.The pattern they describe includes “the development of a psychological state characterised by severe depression, despair, hopelessness, paranoia, chronic rage, persecutory delusions, sub-syndromal psychosis, characterological change and persistent self harming behaviour”.In their sample, “all but one of...
Asylumseeker debate fuelled by misinformation
The debate about asylumseekers in Australia is contentious and politically charged, but research commissioned by Amnesty International has found that anti-asylumseeker sentiments are not actually fuelled by racism.The findings reveal many Australians' views on refugees are informed by misconceptions and a lack of facts.
Australians have been polarised by the highly politicised debate, so much so that human rights organisation Amnesty International commissioned its own research into views about asylumseekers. Essential Media's Peter Lewis runs the polling company that was commissioned to do the research.
Mr Lewis says he was surprised that the results were not based on racial issues."Distrust or antipathy towards asylumseekers was a perception -[that] these were people that were breaking the rules, that they were doing something wrong and because they were doing something wrong, being tough on them was actually taking a stand for Australian values," he said.
"What I thought was really interesting was this was not race-based. A lot of the people that were having these views were people who themselves were refugees, who would say, 'these people are breaking the rules' and taking positions that real refugees like my family should be taking."
The research also...
The debate about asylumseekers in Australia is contentious and politically charged, but research commissioned by Amnesty International has found that anti-asylumseekers sentiments are not actually fuelled by racism.
Australia pride itself on its strong human rights record and its standing as a good global citizen. However deeper analysis and according to recent situation that how boat people are being treated shows that Australia has failed to fulfill with its international human rights obligations in a number of areas. This is making the things complicating and has tendency towards receptionist and relativist arguments as regard as these international obligations. Especially, much of the focus in Australia and the country’s response to this group of asylumseekers is structured in terms of border protection and deterrence, while not in terms of human rights. Debatably, Debate about asylumseekers in Australia is driven by misinformation and politically charged. Due to the wide spread of wrong information through mass media, Australians views regarding to people who reached or try to reach in their country have changed and these views are leading towards anti asylumseekers sentiments which are not actually powered by racism factor. The UN refugee convention recognizes that refugees have a right to enter a country for the...
...Who are these People?
Asylumseekers are people who have fled their own country to seek refuge in another country whereby they apply for ‘asylum’ or rights to be recognised as genuine refugees with legal status and the assistance that it entails. Many of the asylumseekers we see crossing Australian borders are from the Middle East and Asia. Reasons for the illegal entry varies for the individual, but most commonly relates to discrimination of one reason or another, such as religion, nationality, beliefs and personal circumstances. Also a large number of the illegal immigrants are fleeing war torn countries and persecution.
Rarely do refugees have the chance to make plans for their departure: to pack their belongings, to say farewell to their friends and families. Some refugees have to flee with no prior notice, taking with them only the clothes on their backs. Others, like the family that pretends to be going on a weekend break, have to keep their plans a secret from all around them in case they are discovered.
Refugees often have little idea about where they are going. They are running away, not running to. Those who come to Australia often have little understanding about our country and the nature of our society here. They have had no opportunity to prepare themselves physically or psychologically for their new life in Australia.
According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees...
...Offshore processing of asylumseekers, People who flee from countries which are persecuting them, escaping for their lives. Australia’s mandatory detention policy means that asylumseekers are locked in a detention centre until they are processed, which can take years. According to the Minister for Immigration, Amanda Vanstone, this is in order to deter other arrivals. Detention-centre advocates tell us that our tough attitude towards “boat people” is a deterrent for others who may consider seeking asylum here
The processing centres such as manus island and Nauru are not safe for processing (give evidence). There is increasing evidence that the procedures of these centres go against basic human dignity and right to safety. (evidence) most show that refugee detainees are under conditions far worse than prison convicts.
Fifthly, in addition to refugee law, international human rights law and Australian law both prohibit the expulsion of people to places where they are at risk of torture, the death penalty, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, or arbitrary deprivation of life. Australia seems to conveniently brush aside Article 31 in the Refugee Convention 1951 that requires countries not to penalise those who seek protection from persecution, even if their entry or presence in the country is unlawful
Incarceration without hope of facing an accuser, prisoners forbidden to know the...
...Refugees, AsylumSeekers & Detention Centres
1.Do you think Australia is a ‘just’ society? Why/Why not?
Australia is a just society in a way. As Australia does let in refugees into the country but not let in asylumseekers even though they have rights.
2.Define the terms: Refugees, AsylumSeekers & Detention Centres.
AsylumSeekers: An asylumseeker has unauthorized entry.
Refugees: Someone who is entitled to enter a country, they have documents.
Detention Centers: Where refugees are held, until they are authorized.
3.Which agreements did Australia sign with the UN concerning Refugees and AsylumSeekers?
Australia signed the UNHCR agreement
4.How many refugees does Australia take in each year?
5.What rights do asylumseekers and refugees have under UN law?
Refugees have the exact same rights as citizens but they cannot vote.
6.Why does Australia have detention centers of asylumseekers?
It is a first place of refuge for asylumseekers and a place they can stay until visa is accepted
7. Where are the Detention Centres in NSW?
Villawood Detention Centre
8. Who is sent to detention centres?
Unauthorised refugees i.e. asylumseekers
9. Whys is it...
...AsylumSeekers In Australia
Australias mandatory detention of asylumseekers are of a serious concern. There has been aroused intense national and international debate. In the past few years we have been bombarded with images of detainees suffering from depression, mental anguish, trauma and psychological damage.
Australia has a policy of mandatory detention for all refugees and asylumseekers who arrive by boat to Australian shores (http//westnet.com.au/jackhsmit/detention.htm).
Those who have reached Australias shores should not be placed in inhumane conditioned detentions, it is a breach of human rights. There have been proposed alternatives to detention of asylumseekers, many of which should be considered.
The Human Rights Watch has established many reasons to why asylumseekers have come to Australia, many of which to seek safety and hope for a better life. Once reaching Australias shores, for the majority, hope for a better life is not the case. Instead, these aslyum seekers are imprisoned. Many, if not all, are innocent. Being punished for being innocent?
People working in the field of migrant and refugee, claim that non-genuine applicants for refugee status are a very small minority, this is highly unfair to genuine applicants, the majority. (http//socialjustice.catholic.org.au). Like the...
...Cost and Benefit Analysis
Table of Contents
Recently the Labor Government introduced a Bill and Australia’s Parliament passed a law that would allow asylumseekers to be sent to Papua New Guinea and Nauru to undergo offshore processing. This decision has caused a lot of commotion, since other people think that onshore processing is the more correct way of dealing with asylumseekers.
Asylumseekers have always existed, ever since there have been disputes and wars, but now there are many interchanging issues coming from the influx of them invading into many western countries, including Australia. The accepting of asylumseekers is a struggle to help control the balance between the security of our nation’s boarders, and then having to support and help thousands of emigrant people.
There is actually a difference between an asylumseeker and a refugee. An asylumseeker is someone who is looking for international protection, but their claim to be labelled as a refugee has not yet been determined. While a refugee is a person who has been recognized under the 1951 Convention relating to the status of a refugee. The Convention states that a “refugee” is any person who: owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion,...
...threatened by the Taliban to stop supporting the Afghan government. (Refugees International, 2001) Even the police are often seen as a greater source of insecurity than the Taliban, because many of them are linked to criminal gangs and are involved in violent crime such as kidnapping and robberies. (Kazem-Stojanovic, 2011) In this country, there is no safe place to go. Even the people you’re supposed to be able to trust (the police) are a threat to your safety. I don’t blame them for their desperation to leave. Their fear is so strong that people are paying up to $30 000 to people smugglers to come to Australia, (Amiri, 2012) only to be treated badly in a country that they thought would be the start to the life they deserve.
For most asylumseekers, arriving in Australia is a major shock. They are met with hostility and mandatory detention. After arriving on Christmas Island, they are put on buses that drive to the detention centre. (Dulwich CentrePublications) They are constantly being watched over by armed guards, which is similar to the control and lack of freedom that they were trying to escape. They are made to sit upon the ground, with women and children separated from the men. They are then searched by the guards. From here on out, it is the long and torturous wait while their applications for immigration are assessed. (Boat people arriving in christmas island, 2011)
When Afghani people were interviewed, they said they felt they were...