World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Australia: Asylum seekers - where to now?

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

5 December 2001 ASA 12/010/2001 215/01

Returning from a research mission to Nauru, Amnesty International delegate Dr John Pace said today that, "Off-loading asylum-seekers onto Pacific island nations is an unsustainable and inhumane policy which must be urgently addressed."

The recently-elected Australian government must seriously consider the consequences of its dispersal policy. "While the world has been focused on the humanitarian and refugee crisis unfolding in and around Afghanistan, the Australian government has been sending boatloads of Afghans and other asylum-seekers around the Pacific," Dr Pace added.

"The policy has clearly failed to stop desperate asylum-seekers trying to reach Australia, and the people smuggling rings have not been broken. While the government has been creating a 'fortress Australia', hundreds of men, women and children fleeing persecution and attempting to reach safety, are being arbitrarily detained in camps and on boats, often in very poor conditions."

Moreover Dr Pace added, "Diverting boats to other countries in exchange for aid and money amounts to a trade in human misery. The Australian government should instead increase efforts towards an international solution that tackles root causes of refugee movements and people smuggling. It should treat asylum-seekers fairly and humanely, and not push boats away from Australian waters."

Following his mission to Nauru, Dr Pace met with the Australian government to discuss its plans for the asylum-seekers. The Immigration Minister, Phillip Ruddock, refused to disclose what would happen to them after their asylum claims had been processed. Amnesty International is calling on the government to publicly reveal its long term plans.

An international conference hosted by The University of New South Wale's Centre for Refugee Research will open today to examine the effectiveness of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and clarify Australia's obligations as a member of the international community.

The Centre for Refugee Research Director, Eileen Pittaway, said, "Governments have been reacting to the problems of unprecedented forced migration and people movement with increasingly punitive measures. The ways in which the Refugee Convention is interpreted and applied is clearly failing. We have to explore new and more effective ways to provide protection for these people."

Press Conference A press conference on Amnesty International's mission to Nauru, headed by Dr John Pace, former secretary of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights will be held at: 1.00 pm Thursday December 6, 2001 Arcade Room, Matthews Arcade Gate 9, High Street, University of NSW Sydney, Australia

Joining Dr Pace will be representatives from Amnesty International Australia. Eileen Pittaway, Centre for Refugee Research, will be present to discuss the International Refugee Conference.

****************

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC