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

Australia ignores teenaged refugees in Indonesia until adulthood


Two under-age asylum seekers

Two under-age asylum seekers

Teenage refugees joining the so-called queue in Indonesia to apply officially for protection visas, instead of jumping on a boat, say they are being told Australia will not take them until they are 18 years old.

The boys, who are stuck in limbo in Jakarta, said that even though they have been determined to be refugees and did the right thing by applying through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), they were told they would not be considered or their applications would be delayed until they are considered adults. Alternatively, they could apply to go to another country, including the US.

A 14-year-old Hazara boy, who already survived a boat sinking in April, said he was living in a shelter for unaccompanied minors in a suburb in Jakarta.

The boy, who asked not to be named, said the advice was one of the reasons why there is such a high number of unaccompanied children arriving on boats. He said the alternative was to live for years in a shelter with little support, no money and no chance of going to school or working.

Advertisement

Another boy said he had been in Indonesia for seven months already and he had been told he would have to wait for another five months before he will even be interviewed by the UNHCR to determine if he is a refugee. He said he was told that there are not enough resources in Indonesia to cope and it is not unusual for a first interview to take a year or more.

Others who were teenagers at the time they applied, and have since arrived in Australia, said their applications were delayed until they were old enough.

Immigration Minister Tony Burke said that in his decisions and in discussions with his department about this year’s humanitarian intake, ”providing a home for unaccompanied minors who have registered with the UNHCR has always been part of any option”.

An Immigration Department spokesman said Australia tries to discourage parents from sending their children on a dangerous journey to Australia ”to act as an anchor” for families’ subsequent migration to Australia.

”The UNHCR determines what is in the best interests of the children who are seeking asylum as unaccompanied minors,” the spokesman said. ”In some circumstances, the best interests of the child are served by returning the child to their home or transit country.”

He said the Australian government balances its international obligations towards asylum seeker children with its ability to offer resettlement to people who are found to be refugees offshore by the UNHCR.

He said that Australia resettles refugees of all ages and, this year, Australia piloted an approach to resettle a small number of minors from Indonesia, who had been identified as refugees by the UNHCR and were suitable for placement in youth group housing.

Many carers waiting to give children a home

It is called a group home, a plain house in the suburbs, with nothing to distinguish it from others. It is modestly furnished with basic appliances, cheap linen and furniture bought on eBay.

The under-age teenage boys who live there are much like any others their age and they seem to get along well. There are none of the trappings of what you might expect in the home of Australian teenagers.

Fairfax Media was given a glimpse inside one of the many homes around the country that have been leased to provide community housing for under-age asylum seekers.

The carer who lives with them says they are grateful to have their own rooms and some freedoms.

Ali (not his real name), talks about how happy he is just to live normally again. Detention had made him feel like ”half a person”, he said.

Despite the efforts of Immigration Minister Tony Burke, who has made getting children out of detention a priority, there are still hundreds of unaccompanied minors and families with children in closed detention centres. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was clear that community housing is much healthier for children.

More than 500 children, including 116 unaccompanied minors, have been released in the past six weeks, but agencies that care for them say many government-funded places have still not been filled. Homes, beds and carers are ready and they cannot understand the hold-up.

There are 391 unaccompanied minors in community detention and 503 in closed detention.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Teen refugees excluded until adulthood
 

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

No comments yet.

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 )

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 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: