[ View the story "Drowning in neglect" on Storify] Drowning in neglect What responsibility does Australia have toward boat refugees?
The Stream· Thu, Aug 01 2013 11:45:48
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
asylum seekers who arrive by boat will have no chance of permanently settling in Australia. Instead, they will be sent to Papua New Guinea (PNG) for assessment, as explained in the Al Jazeera report below.
Australia sends first refugees to PNGaljazeeraenglish
Many criticised the decision:
MY Australia welcomes people seeking asylum. MY Australia does not turn people away to satisfy the fear of those who do not know better.natalie tran
@AJStream I can't understand why #Australia does that to these die hard #refugees . Its not like the country is overpopulatedCarmady
@AJStream 'Australians' once arrived by boat to settle in somebody else's place...It's an embarrassing take on history what's happening nowPernille Bærendtsen
Protests were held across major cities condemning the new policy:
Melbourne Rally Again for Refugeesjtmak3
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) raised serious protection
over the decision, after visits to Papua New Guinea highlighted shortcomings in receiving and processing asylum seekers:
These include a lack of national capacity and expertise in processing, and poor physical conditions within open-ended, mandatory and arbitrary detention settings. This can be harmful to the physical and psycho-social well-being of transferees, particularly families and childrenunhcr.org
@AJStream UN doesn't really understand the reality of this matter nor any.. #Australia deception is right to send refugees to #PNGKushan Buwa
One person noted that Australia is a signatory to the 1951
UN Refugee Charter
which assumes an obligation to protect refugees.
Australian mainstream media does an excellent job of vilifying and dehumanising refugees and creating a climate of fear, or moral panic, whilst failing to highlight Australian obligations under the UN Refugee Charter. Yes and definitely yes, Australia is bound by both.Kali Sandbrook
However, another voiced the sentiment of some Australians who believe the country is unable to attend to asylum seekers due to bigger issues concerning its own citizens:
Australia does not have ability give own population all it requires let alone support asylum seekers cost millions taxpayer dollars #auspolJuliette
@RiaCal said asylum seekers should seek legal avenues to enter the country rather than come illegally by boat:
@sunriseon7 the difference between my dad coming to Aus and the boat people is that my dad came with the right paperwork and LEGALLY!Maria Cal
Refugees denied from entering the country are sent to detention facilities in places like Nauru and Manus Island, where they may stay for months or
. People have criticised the government for placing them in
Coalition plan to send 2000 refugees to Nauru: size 21 sq km; population 10,000. To protect OUR sovereignty! Wow.julianburnside
Manus Island regional processing facilityDIAC Images
After announcing the new asylum policy, the Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) spent $2.5 million in asylum
in different languages, such as the one below:
The Stream recently
the government campaign warning asylum seekers from coming to Australia.