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

 

Australia's harsh anti-people-smuggling legislation



Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Australia's harsh anti-people-smuggling legislation has deadly consequences

Media Release
Monday July 4, 2012 11:00am WST
For immediate Release
No Embargoes

"It's one thing to have the harshest possible sanctions regime in place that targets people smugglers and people smuggling operations, but it's high time Australia starts addressing the unintended but lethal consequences of its criminal sanctions regime and its framing of asylum seeker vessels as "crime-related" events," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"Following yet another maritime distress situation 50kms off the Indonesian coast, Australia ought to attend to the "devils choice" its legislation has created," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"If you arrest, convict and jail all adult skippers, even if they are broke, unemployed Indonesian islanders from fishing communities that have sailed on the Ashmore Reef fishing grounds for centuries - then such harsh convictions have enormous consequences, in that these adult fishermen will be replaced by under-aged fishermen who crew the vessels."

"If you confiscate and burn all the boats that bring asylum seekers, then the boats purchased by smugglers will become cheaper, more dilapidated and they will develop into "one-way quality" vessels, that are very likely to develop difficulties making the voyage with success."

"If you crack down on, apprehend and arrest the "experienced" middle-order assistant operators, then smugglers will replace these with "inexperienced" or "shonky", "newly arrived" or "fly-by-night" middlemen."

"It's time that our politicians face up to this devil's dilemma and consider that our condemnation and criminalisation of smuggling operations and people smugglers contributes to the circumstances under whish asylum seekers try to come to our shores to seek asylum."

"When we face up to this devil's dilemma, we perhaps need to start taking many cold showers and conclude that the only crime smugglers commit is that they deliver asylum seekers to our border without prior appointment. That is the banale truth of if."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>