Australia and Human Rights Commission Essay

Submitted By goodenr
Words: 878
Pages: 4

Do people believe that the living conditions for refugees in offshore detention centres are satisfactory and deserved?
The investigation of this report is to research not only professionals but the public’s opinion on living conditions for refugees in offshore detention centres. There have been reports on living conditions in these centres such as "I'm really concerned that the thought that these children are living in a communal camp under vinyl in 45 degree heat with limited water, with rats running around” (Michael Kennedy, 2013).This problem affects a few areas including Nauru Island, Manus Island and Australia. The people involved in this issue are the refugees, the Australian Government and the detention centre employees. The issue of the living conditions in offshore detention centres is very important as it talks about innocent peoples’ lives. Refugees are fleeing their homes to find a safe life and they are put in horrible and life threatening conditions. “The state prison system historically had treated prisoners more humanely than the nationwide system of immigration detention provided to detainees” (Jeanette Gibson, social worker 2010).

What is a refugee?
A refugee is a person who was forced to escape their country due to war, persecution and/or violence. Discrimination against race, religion, social groups, political opinion and/or nationality are major contributors to make a human being flee their country. The largest numbers of refugees come from countries which are experiencing conflict internally. The highest number of refugees come from Afghanistan, followed by Iraq and Syria.

The Age
Jail ‘better’ than detention centre - September 22, 2010
The article “Jail ‘better’ than detention centres” from The Age is a great example of just how appalling the living conditions are in offshore detention centres. The isolation and high temperatures that the refugees have to deal with results in a lethal mix of anger and frustration (Jeanette Gibson 2010). Comparing the lives of refugees in detention centres to prisoners living in gaol gives us an idea of how bad conditions are. The Human Rights Commissioner in Australia regularly checks prison conditions are satisfactory in Australian prisons and yet the detention centres do not come under this same scrutiny. (Media release, P.J.Hollingworth, 2014)

Refugees live in worse conditions than prisoners and that can be proven. Prisoners know when they will be released, unlike refugees in detention centres, they spend their whole lives waiting. Prisoners do not have to face the barriers between multiple cultures and languages unlike detainees. This often leads to misunderstandings during meetings to discuss the future of refugees. Gaols have pools, computers, gyms and libraries whereas the detention centres have only basic necessities as living quarters. In Australian gaols, visitors are allowed to see loved ones each week and detainees do not have this same privilege. Even church groups are discouraged from visiting.

Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission has many concerns about how the refugees are being treated in these offshore detention centres in Manus Island and Nauru Island. Seeking asylum is a basic human right and the AHRC believe by sending these refugees to a third world country that Australia may breach the human rights obligations. “All people who arrive in Australia and make claims for asylum should have those claims assessed on the Australian mainland” (AHRC).

By conducting a questionnaire in a rural street, the information varies quite a bit. A total of sixteen people, males and females, were interviewed with their ages varying from sixteen to