Download PDF by Peter Mares: Borderline: Australia's Treatment of Refugees and Asylum

Nonfiction 2

By Peter Mares

Borderline was once first released in April 2001, and instantly got common approval for its authority, its humanity, its ardour and its basic honesty. the second one variation contains a lot new testimony from execs who've labored inside of Australia’s immigration detention procedure and who now think forced to talk out approximately their stories.

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Additional info for Borderline: Australia's Treatment of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Tampa (Reportage (Sydney, N.S.W.).)

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By early 2002 it had become almost commonplace to read media reports of detainees damaging their own bodies, whether it was by slashing themselves, banging their heads against brick walls, swallowing shampoo, overdosing on pain-killers, refusing to eat or, indeed, suturing their lips. Given the restrictions on access to the detention centres, it is safe to assume that media reporting does not reveal the full extent of the problem and that many incidents continue to go unreported. The statistics were put together as part of an investigation into the way in which ACM reports incidents in the detention centres to the Immigration department.

This category is not strictly a refugee program, yet the Australian High Commission in Islamabad still insists applicants register with the UNHCR prior to their application being considered. As a result, applicants can end up in a catch-22 situation. Australia says they must register with the UNHCR before they can be considered for resettlement, and the UNHCR says it cannot help, since migration to Australia under nonrefugee programs is not part of its mandate. In any case, even if there were such a thing as a functional ‘queue’ for refugees to get to Australia, many people coming on boats would probably not know about it, or know how to join it.

We seem to be fixated by the pull factors — the attraction that brings people to Australia — rather than the push factors that force them to leave their homes in the first place. There is little analysis of •Border2002 6/9/02 11:49 AM Page 31 7+( 1(: 3(5,/  why it is now Afghans and Iraqis seeking to come to Australia, rather than Vietnamese, or Chinese or Khmer, who made up the previous four peaks on the boat-arrival charts. Could it be that they come here for the same reasons that they seek refuge in other countries?

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