Posts Tagged refugee
Claire O'Connor, representing the boy who cannot be named because of his age, said that Australian immigration authorities did not provide him with adequate psychological treatment and that he should be released into the community.
The Kuwaiti national is now detained at the Adelaide Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre after having spent time in detention facilities on Christmas Island as well as in Melbourne and Darwin since his arrival in 2010.
During that time the boy has repeatedly harmed himself throughout his detention, cutting his arms, banging his head against walls and sewing his lips together; in 2011 he tried to hang himself with a bed sheet.
Ms O'Connor claimed the boy had had a drug habit in his native Kuwait but has since abstained from all drugs since his arrival in Australia.
He had lodged a successful refugee application and was informed in April 2011 that he met the requirements to be granted a protection visa. However, before he could be given the Australian visa, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation gave him an 'adverse security check', the first given to a child, which blocked the application.
Ms O'Connor has said the Australian government had overlooked their duty of care to the boy and that after the authorities were informed of the boy's record of self harm, there was "very little, if no, appropriate treatment provided or change to an appropriate living environment".
"he is still a child whose serious attempt to take his life was the inevitable result of a failure by the [Commonwealth] to provide adequate services in keeping him in an environment where he was going to be less vulnerable."
As the boy has been recognised as a refugee he cannot legally be returned to Kuwait. Asylum seekers who have been denied a visa would typically be moved to a third country but, due to the boy's adverse security assessment, that makes this possibility less likely, meaning the boy faces indefinite detention.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.
If there’s any government that never seems to suffer from severe bouts of amnesia in regards to finding an asylum policy which is sound, it’s the Australian government. The current Gillard Government’s legal miscalculation of its ‘Malaysia Solution’ is one of them. Recently, the High Court of Australia found the Federal Government’s asylum seeker solution, the Malaysia Solution, to be invalid. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen skitted over this issue, stating it was an ‘elegant’ policy. if ‘elegant’ means putting forward a proposal that is illegal as well as squandering taxpayer’s in yet another botched scheme, I didn’t pay enough attention in English class.
It is easy to criticise the decisions a government makes in a democratic society. Here in Australia, we scoff at the new policies made by our politicians through the internet, the nightly news and have journalists such as Piers Akerman ridicule every policy the Labor Party proposes in our national newspapers. We pray policies which are archaic will never happen in our country. however, after promising signs of positive change in the early stages of the Rudd government, the approach to asylum seekers and refugee followed by both the Rudd and Gillard government has been identical to the Howard era. or even worse, nearly every immigration scheme Australia has been involved in ever since its conception in 1788.
We have forgotten the first European settlers who came to Australia were experts in petty crime. even our unofficial national anthem is about glorifying a crook that stole food and shoved it in his jumbuck. it was a song which expressed about being in a land which was filled with bushes instead of green pastures. it was the song that spoke about the underdog overcoming hardship. until the 1970s, we wanted to portray a typical Australian overcoming hardship so much, we omitted the fact we invaded the land the Indigenous Australians who occupied the land for over 30,000 years.
And how many of us pause to remember the 90,000 Vietnamese boat people seeking for refuge in 1975 after the end of the Vietnam War? Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser opened his doors and let them resettled here with minimal fuss. We forget how much we destroyed many of the South East Asian nations. How we drenched the country with Agent Orange and turned a once pristine country into a landfill. In fact, isn’t this currently happening to countries such as Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan?
Why are we blindly adhering to policies which didn’t work in the first place? There is a chance in making creative legislation here. Perhaps past and present Australian governments do not want a large number of refugees inhabiting Australia because of the problems of urban planning, lack of housing and lack of suitable employment to name a few. Maybe it’s a case that both governments suffer from severe bouts of amnesia.
Or what’s worse than the Australian government suffering from amnesia, is the opinions shared by migrants who have inhabited in Australia for quite some time. I reside in a town where it is dubbed as ‘Asians food capital’ of Greater Sydney and its 200 metre CBD strip consisting of a recurring pattern of beef noodle soup restaurants, pharmacies and hardly any signs written in English. Recently, I had overheard a conversation between two middle-aged Asian women and they were discussing about recent refugees from Sudan and Iraq.
“they get here much easily than us. they have planes and phones. We didn’t have that when we arrived here and plus, they look different from us”.
Digesting what I had overheard, I was disgusted and ashamed what was said. did they forget the reason why they fled their homeland was due to the war? Out of all people, you would think past migrants would be empathetic when it comes the refugee and asylum seeker debate. it saddens me to think past migrants will look down upon newly arrived migrants just because they arrived on a plane, and not on a rusty boat that is about to desecrate any minute.
After many immigration schemes from both the government and the public, we still choose to scrutinise and inflict the same punishment towards refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who have arrived to Australian under those circumstances. How many more terrible policies do we have to waltz in regards to refugees and asylum seekers before we acknowledge the error of our ways? whatever policy we create next, it better not be the same fate as the state of Alabama.
Julia Gillard has another headache, with the AFL lining up alongside the NRL to oppose pokies reforms.
Julia Gillard is in Canberra. She has a day of meetings, including cabinet later in the day. the government’s so-called Malaysia Solution is sure to be on the table for discussion, as is the the AFL’s entry into the debate about pokies reform.
The PM’s Malaysia pitch: Writing in News Limited tabloids this morning, Julia Gillard has made an impassioned defence of her Malaysian refugee swap plan. "Wednesday December 15, 2010, was a dark day in our nation’s history. It was also one of the most heartbreaking days in my time as Prime Minister. the images of a boat full of people – of mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – crashing into the treacherous rocks off Christmas Island is something that will never leave me … we cannot allow people smugglers to risk more lives on dangerous sea voyages to our country. that is why the Government’s agreement with Malaysia is so innovative." (read more)
Tony Abbott is in northern Tasmania today. He’ll start his day with a visit to a farm near Jetsonville.
The Opposition Leader’s pitch, in the Australian today: "Australians have learned the lessons of the global financial crisis. the savings rate has increased five-fold to the highest in more than two decades. the government, by contrast, has embarked on a debt-fuelled spending binge unparalleled in our history." (read more)
Wine story glut: SMH scribe Mark Metherell‘s wine glut report was so good it led p3 and p5. Nice one.
Diary: the inquiry into Australia’s Immigration Detention network continues today. the Economics references committee meets to discuss finance of the not-for-profit sector. the Environment and Communications references committee will meet to discuss recent ABC programming decisions. and the committee examining the carbon tax also meets today. On Q&A tonight: William McInnes, Rob Oakeshott, Janet Albrechtsen, Mark Butler and Helen Coonan.
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The Australian reports: AUSTRALIA’S resources boom could slow as commodity prices tumble, amid warnings that Asia’s growth, which spared the nation from the effects of the global financial crisis, will not withstand a downturn in the advanced economies.
The Daily Telegraph reports: OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has put the Coalition on an official election war footing, warning his senior frontbench to prepare for a December poll – with Kevin Rudd as Labor leader. Mr Abbott called a special leadership meeting last Thursday in Canberra to "war-game"’ an early poll strategy.
The Age reports: FEARS that the developed world’s finance ministers will fail to deliver a credible solution to Europe’s debt crisis have nervous investors ready to sell stocks when Australian trade opens this morning.
The Financial Review reports: European officials edged towards a multi-trillion-euro plan to insulate Europe’s biggest economies and banks from the threaten of defaults in Greece.
News.com.au reports: A TOP economist and the Federal Opposition have urged the Reserve Bank to cut the cash interest rate by at least 0.25 percentage points to avoid recession.The Herald Sun reports: FOOTY clubs will tell the AFL today they stand to lose tens of millions of dollars if the Gillard Government’s poker machine reforms are introduced.
The Hobart Mercury reports: INDEPENDENT Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie says he is not scared of a powerful publicity campaign by the NRL and AFL against his proposed poker machine reforms.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports: SENIOR staff in the federal Attorney-General’s Department with high-level security clearances have been investigated internally for rorting their overtime claims and obtaining financial benefits by deception, according to internal government files.
The West Australian reports: Immigration Minister Chris Bowen insists all Labor MPs will vote for the Gillard Government’s legislation to amend migration laws to allow its Malaysia people swap deal, even though a number of party members are openly opposed to the change.
The Advertiser reports: RIGHT-TO-DIE campaigner Dr Philip Nitschke has gained permission to import a drug used in voluntary euthanasia. He will provide the drug Nembutal to a Victor Harbor woman who wants to die.
The Canberra Times reports: As the ACT approaches D-day for its plastic bag ban, the South Australian experience has shown that millions of bags have been removed from the environment in that state but sales of bin liners and other kitchen tidy bags have also increased dramatically.
The Courier Mail reports: QUEENSLAND doctors are demanding pubs and clubs be forced to close earlier as more patients than ever are treated for injuries caused by booze-fuelled violence.
The NT News reports: Tourists stunned as snake scoffs wallaby.
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IR Clash: A FIERY showdown is believed to have erupted in Tony Abbott’s office as senior frontbenchers demanded an explanation for his promise not to re-introduce individual workplace contracts. (Simon Benson reports)
Left agenda: LABOR’S Left, which has raised its voice strongly in caucus in opposition to Julia Gillard’s Malaysia people swap, is putting more pressure on the PM with a public campaign for sweeping party reform. (Michelle Grattan reports)
Regret: NICK Xenophon has indicated he might not have used parliamentary privilege to name a priest accused of rape had he known the man was about to take leave. (Sarah Malik reports)
Footy tax: A GRAND-FINAL week assault by AFL and NRL clubs on the government over poker machine reform will intensify pressure on Julia Gillard, who faces increasing caucus concern over the policy, the key to her power deal with Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie. (Sid Maher and Rowan Callick reports)
Lobbying: WEST Australian National Tony Crook faces a fortnight of intense lobbying for his vote on the asylum seeker legislation, as the government shores up its own ranks to prevent any risk of abstentions. (Michelle Grattan reports)
Moving up: THE Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, has denied he is planning to move to federal politics but stopped short of committing to serve his full four-year term. (Jo Tovey reports)
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Phillip Coorey writes: Politicians have never shied away from associating with sport, but sport usually has tried to stay out of politics. Until now.
Simon Benson writes: IT is no longer a case of if but when and how Julia Gillard’s prime ministership comes to an end.
Katharine Murphy writes: the PM’s fortunes keep falling, and the questions for Labor keep mounting.
Michelle Grattan writes: the AFL and NRL joining the battle against the government’s pokies reform is really bad news for a PM who has more trouble than she can cope with already.
Jennifer Hewett writes: WAYNE Swan says there’s a mood of sober realism in the international meetings he has attended in Washington.
Martin Ferguson writes: RAPID growth in the resources and energy sectors has been occurring for less than a decade but it represents a structural shift as important as the economic reforms of the 1980s and 90s.
Alexander Downer writes: YEARS ago I was in Dublin to meet with the prime minister, president and foreign minister. PM Bertie Ahern, President Mary McAleese and Brian Cowen were all buoyant. the Irish economy was booming and the newly minted euro was proving a roaring success.
Paul Sheehan writes: Ich bin ein Boomer.
Stephen Bartos writes: A visitor to Australia with any more than minimal interest in media and politics would be forgiven for thinking that our paramount policy problem is asylum seekers.
Barry Cohen writes: THERE are, the experts claim, many reasons to vote against Julia Gillard at the next election. Topping the list is the allegation that she conspired against Kevin Rudd in the greatest act of disloyalty to a leader since caucus elected John Watson in 1901.
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The full story…
Sabra Lane reported this story on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 12:18:00
ELEANOR HALL: The Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott is preparing for a briefing later today on the High Court ruling that overturned the Government’s refugee deal with Malaysia.Mr Abbott says he is willing to work with the Government to try to legislate around the ruling but he says his preferred offshore processing location is Nauru.The Government is still insisting that all options are on the table, as chief political correspondent Sabra Lane reports.SABRA LANE: The independent Senator Nick Xenophon often has a canny way of simplifying issues and this morning he gave his view of the impending negotiations between the Government and the Opposition to the ABC in Melbourne.NICK XENOPHON: The Government has got itself a faeces focaccia and it’s now going to Tony Abbott begging for some condiments.SABRA LANE: The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the Prime Minister won’t raise offshore processing with any leaders during the current Pacific Islands Forum in New Zealand because the policy now is effectively a work in progress that needs to be done and dusted before Australia approaches any other nations.CHRIS BOWEN: We’ve had to work through the results of that High Court judgment.not only is Malaysia held to be invalid but clearly New Guinea would be and there are five barristers who say that Nauru – five senior barristers – Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel – who say that Nauru is very severely impacted upon by the High Court’s judgment.so it’s appropriate that we step back and we settle the legal position before engaging in further discussions with other countries.SABRA LANE: Mr Abbott will receive a briefing in Brisbane today on the implications of the High court ruling. The Immigration Department secretary Andrew Metcalfe will lead the briefing. He’ll be joined by the acting national security adviser Margot McCarthy, the ambassador for people smuggling issues James Larsen and a special counsel from the solicitor-general’s office. The Opposition Leader says Nauru is still the number one policy choice to stop the boats.TONY ABBOT: We think that Malaysia is a bad deal – so does everyone except the Prime Minister and the Immigration Minister – so as far as I’m concerned Malaysia is out.We want to make offshore processing happen. We want to put it beyond legal doubt. We want to allow them to continue with their Manus policy but as well as Manus let’s have Nauru.SABRA LANE: The Coalition argues that during the Howard years Nauru was an effective deterrent, but the current Government’s previously argued that it wasn’t as most people who were sent there ended up in Australia anyway. It’s understood the towing back of more than six boats to Indonesian waters before 2003 was considered a more powerful deterrent in the people smugglers’ minds than Nauru.But Indonesia’s cooperation for boat turn-arounds now is highly unlikely.Just yesterday a high ranking Indonesian police officer told the wire service AAP that Mr Abbott’s proposal was inhumane and dangerous.History also shows that people smugglers adapted to boat turn-arounds by sabotaging vessels and putting lives at risk.With that in mind that’s why the Government is determined to fix its Malaysia proposal. again, Chris Bowen.CHRIS BOWEN: It’s appropriate we all step back, we all review all the policy options.The Cabinet at the party level and Mr Abbott should be in the position where he can do the same thing.SABRA LANE: if the Government agreed to only process arrivals onshore, officials expect that change in policy would trigger a flood of arrivals.within months they’d expect about 600 people per month and those kinds of numbers would overwhelm detention facilities, probably within a year.such a scenario would be unviable as it would inevitably lead to the release of asylum seekers into the community which over the long-term, the ABC’s been told, could lead to civil disharmony and unrest, similar to that experienced in London and Paris in recent times.Scott Morrison, the Opposition’s immigration spokesman, won’t be at today’s briefing in Brisbane as he’s visiting the Curtin Detention Centre as part of a parliamentary inquiry.if Tony Abbott was given a convincing argument today about why Nauru wasn’t a deterrent and why the Malaysia solution could be more effective in stopping people smugglers and stopping the boats, would he be open to it?SCOTT MORRISON: well that’s not the purpose of today’s briefing. The purpose of today’s briefing is to be briefed on the legal advice and what can go from there is the Government advising how they propose to amend the Migration Act to put the issue of offshore processing beyond any legal doubt.so I mean that’s what’s before us today. The Leader of the Opposition, Tony, will be there today with Senator Brandis, the shadow attorney-general, as I’m here in Curtin in Western Australia, and that’s the purpose of today’s briefingSABRA LANE: You’re in Curtin as you’ve just said. you were at Christmas Island yesterday for this parliamentary inquiry into detention centres.you heard evidence yesterday about warnings that were given before the riots and unrest that we witnessed in March. What were those warnings?SCOTT MORRISON: well in November of 2010 the specialist-trained public order management Federal Police officers were removed from the island.between then and March the level of population increase, the level of critical and other incidents in the centre, increased.The profile of the detainees that were coming into the centre also changed and we had evidence yesterday that that provided a higher risk profile.The minister himself back in October, I understand was warned when he came to the centre about what upgrades were required to particular parts of the infrastructure, in particular a fence that was a key figure in the riots that took place which was knocked over and weapons were fashioned from it and people were able to escape from there.Now all of these warnings were in place. The minister was getting daily warnings in terms of the incident reports from this centre and basically there was no security response. It was a mess.SABRA LANE: Have you been able to deduce what actually happened with those warnings? Did they just sit in people’s in-trays? Did they actually go anywhere?SCOTT MORRISON: well they’re questions we’ve really got to now put to the minister because all of this information, we’re advised by DIAC, was going up the command chain.ELEANOR HALL: That’s the Coalition’s immigration spokesman Scott Morrison, ending that report by Sabra Lane.