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Report Finds Australia Deporting People To Danger

Deported To Danger

Report Released Today Finds Australia Sending Rejected Asylum Seekers Into Danger

A study released today has found that Australia has endangered the lives of rejected asylum seekers by sending them to situations where their lives are at risk. The report, Deported To Danger, was produced by the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education in cooperation with the School of Education at Australian Catholic University (ACU)

Researchers from the Edmund Rice Centre the ACU have interviewed 40 rejected asylum seekers in 11 countries. Of the 40, the report found that only 5 were safe after being deported from Australia. In addition to the 40, another 10 were found to be in so much danger that it was not safe to interview them.

"We were deeply shocked by the stories of these people. It is clear from this study that Australia has been putting people into situations where their lives are at risk once they have been removed from the country. This represents refoulement and is contrary to international law', said Edmund Rice Centre Director Phil Glendenning.

The report also found that the risks to deportees were increased by Australia engaging the services of private security companies, giving information and documents to authorities overseas, and paying overseas government officials to accept deportees, inviting the accusation of corruption.

"Some of the deportees interviewed have been given asylum by Canada, the U.K. and New Zealand. What is it those countries, with similar histories to ours, understand about safety and international obligations that we don't? Mr Glendenning said

"What we have found here will shame most Australians who subscribe to the values of respect for the rule of law and the sense of a fair go"

We call upon a re-elected Howard Government or a newly elected Latham Government to change this policy and ensure that Australia meets our international obligations and return the policy to one where the safety of people is not neglected", Mr Glendenning concluded.

The report, which has taken nearly 2 years to complete, has been prepared for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees meeting in Geneva next week.

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Deported To Danger can be downloaded from the Edmund Rice Centre website at http://www.erc.org.au

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