24 comments on “How to Fail at Human Rights: Australia Excuses itself from Refugee Law

  1. Blatant misuse of figures and downright untruths.
    Why use 2013 in one spot and then 2009 in another apart from the figures support your arguments. There are around 20,000 illegals arriving each year, not 8427 as in 2009. Many are accepted due to numerous appeals which eventually wears the system down as well as a left wing stacking of the refugee committee. The excising of the mainland is one of the most useful things the idiots in Gillard’s government have done. Too late though.

    Each and every single “refugee” arriving by boat has already crossed numerous, safe countries and apparently have the financial means to pay large sums to people smugglers. Sri Lanka is possibly the only exception… and who want LTTE terrorists here anyway? Why don’t they go to Tamil Nadu?

    • I love how you took the time to point out how she was manipulating the numbers by using a wide variety of data over the years.

      The part where you backed up your sweeping generalizations with boatloads of statistics and sources was the best part though.

      Oh wait. You didn’t have a single source backing up your stupidity. Typical.

    • John’s response nicely captures my own feelings in response to your comment.

      Your words are transparent, and typical of many who share your fear and hatred of asylum-seekers. You dehumanize them so that they can be easily dismissed. Look at your language. ‘Illegals’. People who abuse the system. Questioning their status as legitimate refugees- in spite of government evidence. Suggesting they are greedy or illogical or simply out for a quick win by coming to Australia instead of trying to make a go of it- where- some country that doesn’t acknowledge their rights as refugees? Australia is the only nation to the south or east of Iran, save Nepal and China, that is signatory to the Refugee Convention- none of these so-called ‘safe’ countries are safe at all. But if all else fails, just call them terrorists. It makes it so much easier to ignore the fact that these are complex, rational, real, conflicted human beings, trying to build a better life for themselves and their families out of a place of suffering. Human beings no different to you and I. And if 6% of them turn out to be rotten eggs (i.e their claims for asylum are invalid- how dare they), well that’s a much better statistic than appears to be at large in the general Australian population, if the reaction to the government’s decision is anything to go by.

      Your concern about the ‘untruths’ in my article which you fail to actually specify is interesting, given you continue to refer to asylum-seekers as ‘illegals’ in spite of any appreciation of the actual facts of law. You may feel asylum-seekers are a threat. You may feel they are undermining the Australian way of life. You may feel they are manipulating the system to get a free ride. These are all opinions which you are welcome to hold in this great free nation of Australia. But whatever else you feel about asylum-seekers, they are perfectly legal as per International Law, and as per Australian law as well. Your saying otherwise only highlights your unwavering commitment to fallacy and ignorance.

  2. Thank you for making this so easy to understand. I am not Australian however I am ashamed to belong to a country that sent it’s citizens to take away the land of the rightful owners. I was 30 before I learnt about the stolen generation. I’m now 60 and still cry every time I hear Archie Roaches(?) song about it Joan.

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  5. Totally disagree with all the bleeding hearts. Most of the supposed refugees are not.
    The have paid big money to some people smuggler to get them here.
    Real refugees cannot afford it.
    We have collins’ class submarines in dire need of target practice.

    • “April 4th, 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused by shots of a great huge fat man trying to swim away with a helicopter after him, first you saw him wallowing along in the water like a porpoise, then you saw him through the helicopters gunsights, then he was full of holes and the sea round him turned pink and he sank as suddenly as though the holes had let in the water, audience shouting with laughter when he sank. then you saw a lifeboat full of children with a helicopter hovering over it. there was a middle-aged woman might have been a jewess sitting up in the bow with a little boy about three years old in her arms. little boy screaming with fright and hiding his head between her breasts as if he was trying to burrow right into her and the woman putting her arms round him and comforting him although she was blue with fright herself, all the time covering him up as much as possible as if she thought her arms could keep the bullets off him. then the helicopter planted a 20 kilo bomb in among them terrific flash and the boat went all to matchwood. then there was a wonderful shot of a child’s arm going up up up right up into the air a helicopter with a camera in its nose must have followed it up and there was a lot of applause from the party seats…”

      -George Orwell, 1984. Part I, Chapter 1.

    • Actually anon, latest quarter results published by The Age today illustrate that more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrived by boat were genuine refugees, a figure that has been consistent over several years: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/overwhelming-majority-of-boat-arrivals-deemed-to-be-refugees-20130519-2juty.html

      There is a difference between an economic refugee and a refugee fleeing persecution. One does not have to be poor to be persecuted on the basis of religious or cultural reasons, or to be in fear of their life.

    • “Totally disagree with all the bleeding hearts. Most of the supposed refugees are not.
      The have paid big money to some people smuggler to get them here.
      Real refugees cannot afford it.
      We have collins’ class submarines in dire need of target practice.”

      Having some wealth does not prevent you from being a “real refugee”, if a civil war broke out in australia and it were no longer safe to be here, would you gather all your money and try and buy a one way ticket out of here? of course you would.
      There seems to be a lot of people who cannot fathom that a doctor or a teacher in a place such as afganistan or somalia (you might be surprised to know there are educated people in these countries) could be displaced by war. Their lives are in danger staying at home, so why not risk your life in the hope of being granted asylum in australia? Many are capable of making a contribution to our society, and many already have.
      I think it is odd how so many australians are outraged by people arriving here by boat to ‘leech of the system’ etc. yet do not protest about australian-born citizens who have been abusing the welfare system for years.

    • Interesting that there’s as assumption that refugees are poor – refugees are people fleeing persecution on the basis of their ethnicity, religious or political views or because they are part of a social group that is targeted. It’s a very specific term used to apply to a very specific circumstance.

      Why does that mean they need to be poor in order for us to believe they are genuine refugees? In many cases its professors, doctors, lawyers and the like who are a threat to their Government and therefore are targeted. Yes, in some instances they are people who are poor due to their persistent marginalisation, but its not a precondition for their credibility.

      My oh my we really don’t understand the terminology do we???

  6. Comprehensive account of migration situation in australia. Sad day for Australia in the international community. Try making a simplified version to reach more australians. Cheers and well done

  7. australia should lose ALL say on ALL matters of International Importance, from war, refugees, climate change, United Nations, EVERYTHING that affects the Planetary population, at least until it can prove beyond all reasonable doubt, & to the complete satisfaction of the Global Community, that it is not (as it currently IS) a mere extra voice for the racist xenophobic elitist english, whom, incidentally, are the biggest “queue-jumpers” of all, not merely in their vast over-representation in the immigration statistics, but also with such sneaky (sasenach) snake tactics as invading the country by sending out 500 at a time job-lots of their police because (to quote from the west australian police commissioner a bit less than a decade ago) “WESTERN AUSTRALIANS are not providing suitable applicants for the WESTERN AUSTRALIAN police force” (apparently no-one else in Australia is “suitable” either), ie, that is NOT “migrant labor”, THAT is a surreptitious and subterfugeous, underhanded military take-over by a FOREIGN power, aided & abetted by the fact that the australian police (& military) STILL swear allegiance to the crown of england, ie, if they recognize a foreign head of state (whose MINIONS in australia can – & do – sack the political party elected by the MAJORITY of the population) then they should be covered by the same ONE vote given to the english, & NOT given a separate say in actions/inactions that affect the majority of the Planet & the Planet itself. >:(
    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/re-hydrating-of-australian-inland-seas-via-siphoned-ocean-water/

  8. Bravo. Well presented, too. Unfortunately, we have many bigots in Australia, Unfortunately, facts do not cure bigotry.

    “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
    — Frantz Fanon

  9. I could care less about the constant bickering between bleeding heart liberals and racist xenophobes. The one thing nobody ever seems to be able to answer is “WHY DOES THE PROCESSING TAKE SO LONG?”

    If the Government wants to send asylum seekers to the moon I’m fine with that. Just be sure that the facilities that are there are respectable, open to the media and make sure the processing is quick.

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  11. I am so incredibly relieved that someone has pointed out clearly that people who overstay visas (illegally) are the largest percentage of arrivals. And these people are often working illegally, cash in hand, so there are less jobs for which legal Australian citizens and residents may apply. I have a question, Mr Wanderlust, does this mean that they are no longer able to claim refugee status in Australian consulates or embassies?

  12. I came to this post looking for an update given recent events…nice to see that a change in leadership in the ruling labor government has done nothing to alter this state of affair and if anything, has accelerated them. To think how people criticize Obama for selling out leftist ideals…nice to see things a little different in Australia.

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  16. A great article.
    I live in Australia and upon arriving was astounded at how the Australian Government blatantly lies to the public about refugees to turn the attention away from the real issues in this country. If the public did their research they would find that seeking asylum in a country is legal and these people trying to enter the country are trying to get away from their own corrupt and dangerous governments, all these people want is to be safe. In fact, the government spends more on these detention centres then it would cost to let these people into the country. Knowing this, i find it hard to understand how the Australian government can justify locking innocent people into detention centres, it is a shameful, senseless thing to do and a voilation of human rights.

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