Asylum Seekers in Australia Essay
Australias mandatory detention of asylum seekers 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 asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Australian shores.
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 asylum seekers, many of which should be considered. The Human Rights Watch has established many reasons to why asylum seekers 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//www. socialjustice. catholic. org. au). Like the saying, Keeping the whole class in because one child spoke. By Australian law, these refugees are eligible to stay on Australian soil.
But, under Government policies (administrated by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA)), asylum seekers are prevented claim of asylum, they not permitted to work, are denied access to medicare and foremost are forced into detention. These asylum seekers should not be placed in detention, it is unethical. We are the only developed country to put into practice indiscriminate detention of asylum seekers. We have indeterminately jailed them all – the elderly, the children, the sick and the preganant (A speech by The Hon Justice Marcus R.
Einfeld – http//www. westnet. com. au/jackhsmit/detention. htm). Unauthorised asylum seekers are detained in one of six on-shore or one of three off-shore detention facilities. Detention generates the most attention of any asylum issue. These detention facilities are in inhumane conditions, where there are riots, frequent beatings, psychotic breakdowns and suicide attempts. Is this really the sort of place to be living in? Detention facilities very much resemble jail-like cells – behind razor wires.
An investigation from the Federal Parliament Human Rights Committee found conditions in some of the centres appalling, reporting that conditions were often below Australian jail standards. Asylum seekers have been subjected to unneccessary use of force and have had their rooms trashed by guards for no apparent reason. The detention facilities in Woomera and Port Headland have attracted the most attention. Both these detention centres are in inhospitable remote locations with overcrowded conditions. Both have also generated violent riots and breakouts.
Human rights have been violated due to the conditions of these detentions; restricted access to services; and restricted access to judicial review. These asylum seekers have come to Australia to sought refuge in a, what was thought to be a compassionate and humane country, not to be sentence to imprisonment. There have been proposed alternatives to detention of asylum seekers – The Alternative detention model and The Detention Standards Document. Both wanting similar outcomes. The treatment of aslyum seekers is inhumane, the Australian government should provide a more flexible detention regime.
They should only detain these people for only a limited period – enough for a complete health and criminal check, a prediction of less than a month. After initial compulsory checks, asylum seekers awaiting for their status to be decided should be allowed to roam freely in communities, with access to facilities, support and help. They should only be detained if they pose a threat to communities/Australia. There should be closure to detention centres and for them to be replaced with reception centres with community support suggested by Pamela Curr – Victorian Greens spokesperson on refugee (http//www. esistance. org. au/zine/news4. html).
These receptions would be friendlier places, with leisure and educational facilities – open spaces. The housing of asylum seekers in well-resourced, open receptions while their claims are to be decided offers the most logical and humane alternative Although, there may be some restrictions on what they are allowed to do and are not allowed to do, this is a much better alternative to the current mandatory detention system.
Australia has turned a blind-eye to the fact that one of the reasons for asylum seekers leaving their country of origin is because of risk of persecution and have come to Australia to sought protection, their treatment here in Australia is unjust. The Australian government should provide a more felixble system. The asylum seekers have not come to Australia to be imprisoned, yet we are treating them as criminals. What really have they done wrong but to seek a better life for their family?
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