Department for Immigration and Citizenship

Protection sidelined in rush to implement deterrence

The Australian Government’s interest in the refugee protection measures recommended by the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers has not matched its haste to implement the Panel’s recommendations on deterrence, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says. RCOA CEO Paul Power said that the political debate and the activity within the Parliament since Monday’s release of the Expert Panel report had focused almost exclusively on just three of the Expert Panel’s 22 recommendations – those related to re-establishing forced transfers of asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus…

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INDONESIA: Asylum seekers take to boats out of frustration

PUCAK, 22 June 2012 (IRIN) – Refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia, many of whom fled persecution and conflict in their home countries, say they are being driven to get on boats for Australia out of frustration with the resettlement process. “It’s been two years that I have been here. How long am I supposed to wait?” asked Liaqat Ali Yousufi, 32, an ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni Province, who was registered as a refugee in November 2011 and…

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It’s the Government, not the People Smugglers that has Blood on its Hands

The Four Corners’ people smuggling program has only added to the demonisation that surrounds the media and politicians’ portrayal of people smugglers. Rather than exposing a trans-national criminal network, Four Corners has revealed, what is so often the case, that people arranging boats for asylum seekers to come to Australia have often been refugees themselves, motivated by concerns for the safety of their families or asylum seekers from the same country. Ten of 16 people convicted for people smuggling between 2001 and 2006 were indeed refugees themselves.…

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Summary of 2012-13 Federal Budget measures affecting refugees

KEY POINTS The Refugee and Humanitarian Program will remain static at 13,750 places The Government will be seeking the community’s views on the feasibility of introducing a private sponsorship pilot program to enhance the humanitarian program. Government funding for refugee and migrant settlement services will total $334.4 million, an increase of just 1.4%. There will be a decrease in funding for the Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program, primarily as a result of capping the maximum level of humanitarian settlement services to…

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Immigration Dept’s budget blow out was avoidable with time limits and more community release places: Greens

The blow out of more than $1 billion dollars in the Immigration Department’s budget was avoidable had the government finally put time limits on detention and increased community release places, the Australian Greens said today. “The annual average cost of a community release programme is $10,400 per person, compared to more than $137,000 if an asylum seeker is kept indefinitely in a detention centre,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said. “Detention centre operating costs are of course higher for…

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The Academy of Child and Adolescent Health (an Australian association of paediatric professionals) urged the immediate release of people seeking asylum from hotel detention in Melbourne into community housing.
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