Stop the detention of Refugees

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Australia has been settling refugees for at least 170 years. In 1947, the Australian Government led by then Prime Minister Ben Chifley agreed and entered into an agreement with the new International Refugee Organisation to settle displaced people from camps around Europe.

Since Federation in 1901, Australia has accepted 750,000 persons as refugees. However, currently the Australian Government is not taking appropriate action in terms of their treatment of refugees. Decades ago, Australia allowed refugees to live freely and openly within the Australian community, however, currently in this modern era, in the year 2018, refugees are being subjected to cruel and inhumane conditions in offshore detention centres, including the infamous Manus Island. At this infamous island, numerous stories have been revealed about these people’s suffering. Many suffer from mental health conditions and some have even resorted to suicide because they could no longer cope.

Whilst, Australia appears to have a good history of accepting refugees, world statistics prove that Australia is significantly behind other countries around the world in protecting the lives of refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands. Article 14 of the UNDHR explicitly states that every person in the world has the right to seek and enjoy asylum in another country. In 2015, of the 2.45 million refugees around the world, Australia only assisted 11,776 of these people, which is a mere 0.48%, meaning that not even 1% of these refugees in the world were assisted by Australia!!

In addition, over the last 10 years up to 31 December 2015, there were 14,129,593 refugees resettled around the world and again Australia only recognised or resettled 139,398 or these refugees, which is 0.99% of the world’s refugees for that 10-year period, which again did not reach 1%!!

At this rate of acceptance, it would take 150 years for all the refugees in the world, under the UNHCR’s mandate to be resettled!! Australia must act now and help the world with this crisis that has been going on for many many years now! Australia cannot wait for another country to act, because as a modern and developed country they must do their part in protecting these people who have been forced to flee their homelands!!

References:

Human Rights Watch. (2018). World Report 2017: Rights Trends in Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/australia [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Human Rights Watch. (2018). World Report 2018: Rights Trends in Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/australia [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Laughland, O. (2018). 'It’s freedom': Rohingya refugee reaches Florida after horror of Australian detention. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/23/rohingya-refugee-us-australia [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Refugee Council of Australia. (2018). History of Australia’s refugee program - Refugee Council of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/getfacts/seekingsafety/refugee-humanitarian-program/history-australias-refugee-program/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Refugee Council of Australia. (2018). Statistics Archives - Refugee Council of Australia. [online] Available at: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/getfacts/statistics/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].

Refugee Council of Australia. (2018). UNHCR Global Trends 2015 – How Australia compares with the world. [online] Available at: https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/getfacts/statistics/unchr2015/ [Accessed 20 Mar. 2018].



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