English: Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gil...

English: Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard at a Q & A Session in Rooty Hill, New South Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard says failed asylum seekers should return to their homeland, and shouldn’t expect financial support from the government if they want to stay to seek a judicial review of their situation.

The problem is that this asylum seekers doesn’t have where to go. That’s why they are seeking the asylum. But the prime minister said that people who don’t reach the status of refugees and are not allowed to work doesn’t have other choice. “In those circumstances for Australia, it’s not a question of support for these people, it’s a question of them going back home.”, she said.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Australia has obligations to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Australia, regardless of how or where they arrive and whether they arrive with or without a visa. Maybe the Prime Minister thinks that she is not sending them back forcefully, so is not doing anything wrong, but is encouraging them to go back to their Countries. Some of them came from Bhutan, Maldivas, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Fiji, Vanuatu or Tonga and arrive in boats, others arrive also in boats carried by smugglers flying from more distant conflicts.

Always according to the Australian Human Rights Commission:

As a party to the Refugees Convention, Australia has agreed to ensure that people who meet the United Nations definition of refugee are not sent back to a country where their life or freedom would be threatened. This is known as the principle of non-refoulement. Australia also has obligations not to return people who face a real risk of violation of certain human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture (CAT) and theConvention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and not to send people to third countries where they would face a real risk of violation of their human rights under these instruments. These obligations also apply to people who have not been found to be refugees.

In addition, while asylum seekers and refugees are in Australian territory (or otherwise engage Australia’s jurisdiction), the Australian Government has obligations under various international treaties to ensure that their human rights are respected and protected. These treaties include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These rights include the right not to be arbitrarily detained.

There are currently thousands of asylum seekers as well as some recognised refugees, being held in immigration detention around Australia. Several hundred asylum seekers who arrived in Australia are now also being detained in Nauru and on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea under third country processing arrangements.

Under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (the Migration Act), asylum seekers who arrive in Australia, whether on the mainland or an ‘excised offshore place’, without a valid visa must be held in immigration detention until they are granted a visa or removed from Australia.

Immigration detention in Australia is indefinite – there is no limit in law or policy to the length of time for which a person may be detained. Some asylum seekers and refugees spend long periods of time in immigration detention waiting for their refugee claim to be assessed; waiting for the completion of health, identity and security checks; or awaiting removal from Australia if they have been found not to be a refugee nor to otherwise be owed protection.

While the legal and policy framework for mandatory detention remains in place, substantial numbers of asylum seekers and refugees have been transferred out of closed immigration detention into the community since late 2010. In October 2010, the Australian Government announced that it would begin to move a significant number of unaccompanied minors and families with children into community detention. In November 2011, the government announced that, following initial health, security and identity checks, increasing numbers of people in closed immigration detention facilities would be considered for transfer into the community on bridging visas or placement in community detention.

On 21 November 2012 the Australian Government announced that some asylum seekers who are liable to transfer to a third country, having arrived to an ‘excised offshore place’ on or after 13 August 2012, would be released into the Australian community on bridging visas due to overcrowding across Australia’s immigration detention network and capacity constraints in the detention facilities established to accommodate asylum seekers in Nauru and Manus Island.



About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Ethics, Ideals, Justice, Oceania, World and Politics


, , , , , , ,