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.

We, the Pirate Parties and NGOs of the Pirate movement around the world, express our solidarity with the Catalan Pirates whose websites about the Referendum of Self Determination campaign and the use of Tor are currently being censored by the Spanish authorities. Additionally, we express our solidarity with all citizens of Catalonia who have been met with violent state repression for exercising their democratic right to vote in the independence referendum.

We denounce all political censorship. The internet censorship by Spanish authorities is an unacceptable violation of human rights and political freedoms, regardless of the legality of the Catalan referendum and the merits of the secessionist cause.

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The Pirate Party proudly supports the American people in their protests against the troubling treatment of immigrants and refugees to their country. The freedom which allows the people to speak out against cruel and unjust laws is vital to a healthy democracy. The targetting of specific races, cultures or faiths will only divide communities, rather than unite them. It is promising to see that the American people are still willing to welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Even if their government is not.

“We think that Australia has much to learn from America in this matter” said Simon Frew, Pirate Party President. “We do not treat refugees well in Australia. We do not give them a fair go. Amnesty International has called us out on our “Appalling abuse” and “neglect of refugees on Nauru”[1]. Australia has even published the “World’s Harshest Anti-Immigration Ad”[2] in an attempt to alienate us from those seeking refuge.”

The US has agreed to take on the refugees that Australia refuses to accept, and we have been told that Australia will follow the example of Trump on border protection policies[3]. The Pirate Party does not stand for the values projected by Malcolm Turnbull’s government, and asks all Australians to stand and voice their opposition to this government’s treatment of asylum seekers.

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Since reports first surfaced of issues with Centrelink’s new data matching systems linked to Australian Tax Office data, Pirate Party Australia’s social media accounts have been swamped with stories of incorrect debt claims going back many years, including debts from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

It is clear from many reports that Centrelink is automatically generating flawed debts based on algorithms that will obviously produce incorrect results[1], this new attempt by the government to crassly reduce spending on social security has revealed their true policy: to treat anyone who makes a legitimate claim as guilty until proven innocent.

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ppau-digital-privacyDespite the serious privacy concerns first raised by the Pirate Party in March, and now shared by thousands of Australians as well as the Greens, Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has continued to forge ahead with the invasive 2016 Census. For the first time the ABS is planning to keep names for four years, linking very personal information asked by the Census questionnaire. Like many, the Pirate Party has raised objections to the collection of identifying information, and now calls on the ABS to declare the giving of “Name” and “Address” optional.

“The ABS has not properly consulted with the Australian public on this new, more invasive version of the Census,” said Simon Frew, President of the Pirate Party. “Names are not required by law according to former Australian Statistician Bill McLennan [PDF], and it is difficult to see how names could help with statistical analysis. Collecting names does, however, increase the danger of privacy breaches for Australian citizens which, given the ABS has been subject to 14 data breaches in the last three years, is particularly concerning. A simple way for the ABS put many Australians at ease is to make it optional for people to give their names and address.”

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