A couple of nights ago, I attended an event that looked at the issue of asylum seekers, and where to now. The event was very well attended – they were expecting about 30 people, but instead had about 100.
One of the big things I took out of this was an understanding of the two main issues in asylum seeker policy – that of fairness, and of standards.
Continue reading What now for asylum seekers?
Yesterday, Kevin Rudd announced his new asylum seeker policy, which included as a major point the change that no asylum seeker arriving by boat would be settled in Australia, but instead they would be sent to Papua New Guinea, processed by the PNG Government, and settled in PNG. Another announcement today saw an announcement that the Manus Island Detention Centre would be redeveloped to increase capacity to 3000.
All this from the Prime Minister who warned the Labor party against a lurch to the right on asylum seeker policy. I can only assume that Kevin Rudd meant that instead of a lurch to the right, you should jump so far past the right that we can’t even see the right.
There will be many articles written on why this new policy is bad. Here’s one looking at the numbers of why PNG is not a good solution. But it’s no use to just proclaim the policy bad. In order to fully participate in the debate, an alternative solution needs to be presented as well. This solution needs to not only be shaped on Australian values, but it must also address the issues that this new policy aims to address.
While the Asylum Seeker issue worldwide is a non-issue, here in Australia it is a major part of the political landscape. We need to find a new solution. So I went to look at what other countries do to process their Asylum Seekers. Continue reading A shameful day… but what else?