Seekers in Australia
Currently policy: Australia’s mandatory detention centre policy means that asylum seekers await in a detention centre until they are processed, which can take years. This policy originated from the Keating Government (Labour) in 1992, and has been subject to variations under Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments. The main detention centre in Australia for asylum seekers is Nauru. This policy has been controversial. The Australian taxpayer funds for detention centres.
History: * Mandatory detention laws were introduced by the Keating Labour government in 1992.
“The Government is determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community ... this legislation is only intended to be an interim measure.” * Gerry Hand, Keating Government Minister for Immigration |
* Pacific Solution is the Howard government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention centres on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on Australian mainland. Policy implemented during 2001-2007.
“We are a generous open hearted people taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any nation except Canada, we have a proud record of welcoming people from 140 different nations. But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come... We will be compassionate, we will save lives, we will care for people but we will decide and nobody else who comes to this country.”— Prime Minister John Howard, 28 October 2001 |
* The Pacific Solution ended when Rudd became Prime Minister, his government felt that too many asylum seekers were getting rejected than under the previous policy. The Rudd government made variations to the mandatory detention policy, and allowed legal advisers to unauthorised arrivals and ceased child detention. Despite promising to accept more seekers, under the Rudd government, even less seeker applications were approved than the Howard government.
Australian Refugee and Humanitarian Program:
The Australian Immigration Program is comprised of two components, the Migration Program for Skilled & Family Migrants and the Humanitarian Program for Refugees and Others in Refugee-like Situations.
A major program that the world faces today is the protection of refugees who have had their rights abused, armed conflicts occurring which have forced people to leave their country and seek refuge in other nations.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there were 43.7 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2010 which is the highest number in 15 years.
The Humanitarian Program:
This program has to important functions, the onshore protection component which fulfils Australia’s obligation to protect people in Australia according to the Refugees Convention. The offshore resettlement expresses Australia’s commitment to refugee protection by going beyond these obligations and offering resettlement to people overseas.
The Onshore Protection aims to provide for people who wish to apply for protection or asylum after Arrival in Australia.
The offshore resettlement component comprises two categories of permanent visas. These are: * Refugee—for people who are subject to persecution in their home country, who are typically outside their home country, and are in need of resettlement. The majority of applicants who are considered under this category are identified and referred by UNHCR to Australia for resettlement. The Refugee category includes the Refugee, In-country Special Humanitarian, Emergency Rescue and Woman at Risk visa subclasses. * Special Humanitarian Program (SHP)—for people outside their home country who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation