//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

United Nations refugee agency slams Australia’s tough new asylum seeker policy


Nine Sri Lankan asylum-seekers protest on the roof of the Villawood detention centre near Sydney on September 21, 2010

Nine Sri Lankan asylum-seekers protest on the roof of the Villawood detention centre near Sydney on September 21, 2010

The UN refugee agency took Australia to task Wednesday over a tough new policy that allows boat people who reach its mainland to be sent to remote Nauru or Papua New Guinea for detention while their asylum claims are processed.

The so-called “excision” rules, passed last week, extend previous legislation which only allowed the authorities to send boat people for detention in the Pacific nations if they reached Australian offshore territories.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that the approach was at best wrong, and fell foul of the 1951 international treaty covering handling of asylum.

“UNHCR’s position has always been for all asylum seekers arriving into Australian territory, by whatever means, and wherever, to be given access to a full and efficient refugee status determination process in Australia. This would be consistent with general practice, and in line with international refugee law,” said Volker Turk, its head of international protection.

“If asylum seekers are transferred to another country, the legal responsibility for those asylum seekers may in some circumstances be shared with that other country,” he added.

UNHCR underlined that it had found “serious shortcomings” at asylum centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, including conditions and processing delays.

The agency said it was imperative that the more than 18,000 asylum seekers who have arrived by boat to Australia since 13 August 2012 be provided with a fair and effective asylum procedure.

Any detention of asylum seekers must be strictly in accordance with Australia’s refugee and human rights law obligations, it added.

Australia argued that the change was needed to strip away any advantage gained by asylum seekers who arrive on the mainland, where boat people increasingly have been heading to avoid detention.

Most boats land at or are intercepted near the remote Australian territories of Christmas Island, close to Indonesia’s Java, or the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Both are considered to be “excised” from Australia for immigration purposes, meaning they are subject to special laws allowing for refugees who land there to be processed in regional centres in the Pacific.

Though refugees come in relatively small numbers by global standards, the issue is a political flashpoint in Australia and is expected to be a key issue in national elections in September.

Source: AFP – UN refugee agency faults Australia’s tough new policy
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “United Nations refugee agency slams Australia’s tough new asylum seeker policy

  1. The United Nations is more trouble than help. The sooner it is disbanded, the better off the entire globe will be. Go Australia

    Posted by --Rick | May 24, 2013, 05:36

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Up to 25,000 asylum seekers expected in Australia this year | Craig Hill - May 27, 2013

  2. Pingback: Indonesia won’t agree to Australian plan to turn back asylum boats | Craig Hill - May 31, 2013

  3. Pingback: Australia’s asylum policy fails to have an impact | Craig Hill - June 1, 2013

  4. Pingback: Australian people fed up with growth in asylum-seeker numbers | Craig Hill - June 13, 2013

  5. Pingback: UN says Australia has no ethics on asylum seekers | Craig Hill - June 19, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,817 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

As early as 2005 John Gersham and Melvin Goodman alerted against the trend of an over-militarized US foreign policy. The warning has been a recurrent theme of American debate, although it gained little traction. The debate recently spilled into mainstream media with The Economist averring that “an over-militarized foreign policy that embraces unrealistic objectives is liable to fail.” […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Children account for 15 per cent of Australian farm deaths, says AgHealth study – 15 per cent of farm deaths are children under 14 years old, according to an AgHealth Australia study; A Ballarat farmer says she is shocked almost one in six … Australia’s first body image program for…

China in the News: July 20, 2021

China in the News: July 20, 2021

Ford unveils lower-priced Mustang Mach-E in China to qualify for subsidies – Previously, this was the only Mach-E priced low enough to qualify for China’s EV subsidies. It was joined by Extended Range RWD and AWD versions as well as the … NZ in ‘position of vulnerability’ over China hacking accusations – New Zealand has […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression. COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Fauci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Race on for Australian rare earth supplies as fears grow over China’s market ‘monopoly’ – It comes two years after David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, visited a rare earths mine near Laverton in outback Western Australia just days into the … Swim league to be launched in…

China in the News: July 19, 2021

China in the News: July 19, 2021

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China – Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession. According to China’s state-run Global … Commentary: A pity China can’t seem to ditch its wolf warrior diplomacy – Despite recent exhortations from President […]

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

The Nuclear Future of East Asia

In the face of North Korea and China’s continuous expansion and advancement in their nuclear arsenal in the past decade, the nuclear question for East Asian countries is now more urgent than ever—especially when U.S.’s credibility of extended deterrence has been shrinking since the post-cold war era. Whether to acquire independent nuclear deterrent has long […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 18, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
New study reveals history of Aboriginal trade with foreign visitors before British settlement – They are markers of an annual Asian occupation of the northernmost tip of Western Australia that remains a mystery. “This is an unknown part of Australian … Lolesio kicks 14-man Australia to win to seal series…

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China in the News: July 18, 2021

China threat: Australia detects two Chinese spy ships ahead of a major US missile launch on Sunday – AUSTRALIA has detected “unusual” spy activity from Beijing after a second high-tech Chinese military ship was spotted approaching the Queensland coast ahead … Chinese in S. Korean entertainment industry face backlash – Some Chinese K-pop stars deemed […]

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

China targets overthrow of global order as expert warns of ‘brutal authoritarianism’ rise

CHINA has set out to overthrow the global liberal system in favour of a more compatible “authoritarian” order, a former CIA officer has stated. The Chinese leadership has set out to replace the international rules bases order, a former US intelligence analyst has warned.  Nicholas Eftimiades, an expert on China, has warned that Xi Jinping‘s regime believes […]

%d bloggers like this: