Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Australia will remain an international shame, despite pending reform to Asylum policy

No visa for Australia despite proposed changes to asylum seeker rules – Sydney Morning Herald

This article in today’s Herald by Jane McAdam demonstrates that although the member’s bills are a sign in the right direction, Australia will remain the only country to use mandatory detention on Asylum seekers who arrive ‘illegally.’ The first bill will release all children and their families and all detainees who have stayed in detention for over a year. This is all subject to the expected health and security checks. The second bill will limit detention to 90 days and detention will be reviewable by the courts.

The article also provided some disturbing statistics. Despite Countries of the European Union receiving 100 times the number of Asylum claims every year, no country employs detention as a means of managing them. Countries such as Spain, France and Ireland limit detention to only four days, whilst Australia detains people indefinitely, and is currently not subject to court approval.

This makes evident of the fact that Australia is far from a ‘decent and commpasionate country’ as John Howard once claimed, instead we are a single pariah in regards to immigration policy, something that is extremely shameful as an international citizen.