Whatever your stance on refugee policy, this crisis has gone way too far.
The Australian Government’s policy is to make a point that anyone who attempts to enter Australia without authorisation, no matter the reason, will be met with a life of suffering even worse than what they are fleeing from. To achieve these means, the Australian Government has appointed Peter Dutton to effectively run a series of Concentration Camps right here in Australia, and some (like Manus Island) are outsourced to impoverished countries acting in proxy to Australia.
Thankfully these are not extermination camps, but the living conditions and mental stresses these people are subjected to go far beyond what most Australians would ever experience and deserve the label concentration camps.
Well Mr Dutton and Mr Turnbull, point made – especially on Manus Island – but now it has gone too far and it’s time for the suffering to stop.
The situation is so bad, and the Australian Government is so hell bent on making these people suffer, that New Zealand are basically pleading with us to let them take some in just to help end the suffering. Even wealthy individuals like Russell Crowe are offering to privately fund resettlement into a life of freedom. There are plenty of Australians right there behind him who would do the same. It’s not a case of putting foreigners before Australians, this is strictly on a humanitarian level of decent Australians wanting to help people suffering extreme conditions because of political circumstances.
It’s not reasonable to expect these people to “relocate themselves” from one concentration camp to another. Between the choice of staying trapped in squalor and in fear of the local population, and being trapped in another camp with no chance of freedom, it’s not really much of a choice. If you had to pick between accepting your fate of being a lifelong prisoner for having committed no crime and having a chance to act out against your captor, you would probably make the same choices.
The Australian Government has deprived these people of their freedom and therefore have a duty of care.
End the suffering.
Give these people freedom and a place to go, they have been through enough.
If there is a genuine reason why these people should not be accepted for refugees, the government needs to make the case. If not, they must let them in or hand them over to New Zealand, US or any other country willing to accept them humanely.
The Australian Government have already demonstrated their skills in influencing Papua New Guinea and Nauru to accept refugees (and we got close to a deal with Malaysia and Indonesia in the past), they should use this influence in the region to make these countries (as well as others) adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and provide the proper refuge in their countries, as well as taking in our fair share. New Zealand have repeatedly offered to help with resettlement.
This is the position of The Pirate Party. We also recommend that have a shared processing queue where which allocates a country to resettle in no matter where the refugee physically lands. Then there is no incentive to make risky trips to Australia and people in genuine need of refuge have a place to go without overloading any particular country’s resources.
We also believe that in the case of refugees who do make it to Australia, we should be providing them with resources to find work and become productive members of society and that these resources should also be available to all Australians too.
Our full policy on Asylum seekers and refugees is located at: https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Platform#Asylum_seekers_and_refugees
We also note the irony of Malcolm Turnbull defending Josh Frydenberg’s citizenship status on humanitarian grounds of his parents. They escaped persecution during the Holocaust and came to Australia as refugees (as have many other Australians who have contributed greatly), but the major parties don’t believe that the current batch of refugees don’t deserve the same accommodations or basic human dignity.