Labor Asylum Policy

Labor provides some detail about their asylum policy. To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement.

Mandatory detention remains – although I can’t quite tell if this is intended to be time limited or not. The TPV program remains, albeit revised and providing some concessions. The biggest change is putting an increased emphasis on the people smugglers rather than those seeking asylum. At least this is a step forward, but it is only that – a step.

If this is as far forward as Latham’s Labor can manage to crawl, we’re in trouble.

More on UK Asylum Seeker Proposals

BBC: Asylum law plans attacked.

Some highlights:

Refugee Affairs Director Jan Shaw:

“Rather than ‘cracking down’ on asylum seekers, the government should be working to make the decision-making process more reliable and the safeguards against hasty return more robust.”

Immigration law expert Alison Stanley:

… said the move to punish people for destroying their travel documents was illegal under article 31 of the 1951 convention on refugees.

Rachel Watson, spokeswoman for Refugee Action:

“We must not forget that asylum law is about offering protection to people who could have imprisoned, tortured or even killed.

“The reason why judges are allowing asylum applicants to proceed to higher courts is because they are aware of the gravity of decisions involved.

“These are literally matters of life and death.”

Refugee attacks

Read this a second ago: Democrats Seek to Prevent Latest Government attack on Refugees.

What the government is trying to do here is not only sickening, it is against international law, and is totally unfounded. If you are in doubt about it’s lawlessness, have a read of the UN Convention on the Rights of Refugees.

Article 7. 1. states: “Except where this Convention contains more favourable provisions, a Contracting State shall accord to refugees the same treatment as is accorded to aliens generally.”

If the government is planning to impose TPVs on all refugees, as the Democrats claim:

“Democrats’ Leader, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said new laws introduced by the Government will only give temporary visas to refugees who seek protection while in Australia. This will prevent legitimate refugees getting permanent protection and prevent them from bringing their families to safety in Australia.”

then this is a clear breach of this provision.

Folk for Refugees?

Read this post of the Australian Democrats about refugees and asylum seekers, and it reminded me…

I’m playing a short acoustic solo set at Mars Hill Cafe (in Parramatta) on Friday night. The event will hopefully become a regular thang, and it’s on between 6.30pm and 8.30pm this Friday night.

Pacific “Strategy”

The Australian Democrats: “├ČThe ultimate outrage is the nine women with their children whose husbands are in Australia as refugees, but who are being prevented from joining them and are being pressured to return to the places where their husbands were persecuted.” (Senator Andrew Bartlett)

Phones for Refugees

The Refugee Claimants Support Center is after old mobile phones:

“Your old mobile phone could become a lifeline for an asylum seeker in Brisbane. Asylum seekers need to be able to be contacted by us and other people, such as lawyers and doctors. For those asylum seekers who have permission to work, being contactable by phone is a vital pre-requisite for getting a job.

The cheapest way to get a phone number for a person is to get a donated mobile phone. Using the prepaid card system, a person using a donated mobile phone can be contactable by phone for less than $10 per month. But we need the phones…

So, if you have upgraded to a new plan, please consider donating your old mobile phone (and recharger) to us to help make life for an asylum seeker a little easier.”