As readers here know, Australia has a new government, a conservative one, which promises to get the ‘boat people’ crisis under control. But, the human rights industrial complex is punching back hard with a gambit to take the Abbott government before the UN Human Rights Council before it even gets off the ground.
Here is the news from The Guardian (Australia’s refugee stance sets ‘alarming global precedent’). Precedent is right, alarming is wrong. Every Western country must get its borders under its control and we will all be watching to see if Australia can stem the tide of mostly economic migrants (most from Muslim countries) arriving by the thousands on their shores.
[Here is another story (Global Post) on the same subject, hat tip: Joanne]
The Guardian gasping in indignation:
Australia is engaging in “unlawful and increasingly punitive” treatment of asylum seekers, an Australian legal group will tell the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In a scathing statement to be read out to the UN’s premier human rights body on Tuesday night, the Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre will call on the council to condemn the “alarming global precedent” set by Australia’s stance towards refugees who arrive by boat.
The HRLC will highlight how asylum seekers are being “subjected to arbitrary, indefinite detention” in inadequate conditions on Nauru and Manus Island based on their mode of arrival, contrary to the Refugee Convention, of which Australia is a signatory.
The statement also criticises the new Coalition government’s policies of towing back boats to their origin, abolishing the right to appeal negative refugee assessments to an independent tribunal and the withdrawal of publicly-funded legal assistance for asylum seekers.
From the Global Post story here is another list of the new measures Abbott proposes in order to discourage those who are invading Australia:
Abbott says he will use the navy to tow rickety people-smuggling boats back to their place of origin — typically Indonesia — and will force those who do arrive or are already here onto a tough new regime.
They will be placed on three-year temporary visas with no chance of permanent residency, denied family reunion, appeal or legal assistance and made to work for government benefits.
The general supposition is that most who are arriving illegally are economic migrants and not truly in need of protection, as is the case for the majority of illegal migrants to the US. They have all just figured out how to use that magic word—asylum.
Swearing in story and photo are here.
This is our 112th post in our Australia category.