Asylum under Rudd: tough, or just shonky? - Labor is being tougher and more ruthless with asylum seekers than the Howard Government, according to an analysis of decisions made by Immigration Minister Chris Evans, where he rejected 97.6% of intervention applications since coming to power.
Rudd re-opens Derby's Curtin detention hell - With an election looming, Kevin Rudd becomes Howard-lite and his henchman all at once: the memory of the Curtin detention centre awakens fears of torture, vilification, being beaten up by guards and locked in grave isolation compounds.
World Outrage about Kevin Rudd's Big Asylum Freeze - From psychiatrist Jon Juredini to Malcolm Fraser, from human rights lawyer Greg Barns to Andrew Bartlett, outrage swelled fast around Kevin Rudd's processing freeze of Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum seekers, and it went international within a week.
Labor chooses John Howard's Excision Zone - 'Refugee advocates have accused the Federal Government of abandoning its softer approach to asylum seekers.' An expose of Labor's ambivalence about John Howard's shocking refugee exclusion zone and its sneaky choice.
Coal Industry overheats Kevin's Climate - Anna Rose at the 2020 Summit: I found myself in the climate stream with representatives of coal mining companies including Xstrata and Shell, yet not a single person from an environment NGO such as Greenpeace ...
The ALP's me-too refugee policy - Just before the election, Kevin Rudd tells the ABC's 7.30 Report presenter Kerry O'Brien that he's prepared to turn boats back to Indonesia, a policy brazenly in contravention with Australia's obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.
The 2010 Anti-Smuggling Legislation - Do we want to punish smugglers, or secretly close our borders? See Project SafeCom's Senate Submission and share our doubts about this brazen law proposal that would land even Tampa Captain Arne Rinnan in jail as a smuggler.
The unthrown kids - All the photographs of the "children overboard" incident in 2001 - leaked to Project SafeCom after the incident: they show gratefulness. They show fathers who are tired, but moved. They show mothers who smile, in deep love for their children and thankfulness for the rescue...
Hadi Ahmadi: Smuggler or Escape Organiser? - Perhaps it is true that, contrary to what happens on the European smuggling routes and strategies, Australian 'smugglers' cannot and should not be called 'smugglers', because they simply bring refugees home to UN safety in Australia.
Alcatraz Down Under: Christmas Island - The monstrosity is complete. Like a gigantic scar cutting through the pristine wilderness, the Christmas Island detention centre blights not just the hillside of the island, but also the Australian psyche. We now have our own prison island.
Online campaign group GetUp! are partnering with a range of refugee advocacy organisations including Project SafeCom to send a petition to the federal Immigration Detention Inquiry being conducted by the joint standing committee on migration. Here's the YouTube movie that's part of their campaign, and here is the page for their campaign.
GetUp! campaigns to End Mandatory Detention
Supporting GetUp!'s End Mandatory Detention campaign
Online campaign group GetUp! are partnering with a range of refugee advocacy organisations, including Project SafeCom, to send a petition to the federal Immigration Detention Inquiry being conducted by the joint standing committee on migration.
Chances like this don't come very often - to end a regrettable chapter of Australian history that caused unimaginable suffering to some of the world's most desperate and downtrodden.
The Government has launched an unexpected but long-awaited inquiry into immigration detention - the system that gave us children in detention, the 'Pacific Solution', sewn lips, the Cornelia Rau affair, razor wire and condemnation from the international community.
We believe this Inquiry signals that the Government genuinely wants to put an end to Australia's inhumane detention regime, and for the first time they are asking us for our views. If ever you have despaired at the treatment of asylum seekers, put your name to GetUp's petition submission and help end this ongoing national shame:
So many times the community has rallied against mandatory detention and finally we have been given the chance to consign it to the dustbin of history. Now we must demonstrate to the Government that we demand a humane system.
For over a decade, governments have been so concerned not to appear soft on asylum seekers that they have denied basic rights and dignity and opted for the cheap politics of fear. This is our chance to stand up and demonstrate that Australians demand decency.
Together we will show that harsh treatment of the vulnerable is unacceptable in our community. Click here to give a mandate for a future of decency and respect.
This Inquiry is a moment we've been waiting for to show that what was thought to be popular in the electorate - to be seen as harsh on asylum seekers - is something we profoundly reject. Contribute to our submission, and show the world that our better nature is stronger than our fear. Speak up today to right over a decade of wrongs.
GetUp believes, along with many other refugee advocacy organisations, that the immigration detention regime should meet the following principles:
Detention should not be mandatory. A mandatory detention regime is a breach of basic human rights principles.
Detention should never be indefinite. The Minister should not have the power to detain a person for life if they have committed no crime and pose no health or security risks. Strict time limits must be enacted.
Detention must be reviewable. The detention of any human being should be subject to the systems of legal review befitting a modern democracy.
Detention should be used as a matter of last resort. Detention should only be used where there is a proven security or compliance need.
Detention centres should be humane. Detainees should be treated with dignity and respect. There must be genuine oversight by welfare and human rights bodies.
Detention centres should not be located in remote areas. Hiding asylum seekers away limits their access to legal, medical and social welfare services, and makes it difficult for family to visit.
Detention should never be used to punish those who seek asylum. Those who flee persecution have the right to ask for help.
Detention should be cost-efficient. Not only is the detention regime inhumane, it is more expensive than the community release options available.
Detention centres should have differing security levels appropriate for different types of detainee. The current one-stop-shop approach is inappropriate as it places vulnerable asylum seekers, visa over-stayers and sometimes dangerous or violent criminal deportees in the same centres.
On July 22 2008, about 28 hours since the ten-point list as above was posted, GetUp adjusted and summarised their items to show the following four items instead:
Immigration detention should not be mandatory. It should be used as a measure of last resort for all people, not just children. It should be used only for legitimate necessary purposes: for health, character, identity and security checks, or where there is a proven ongoing security need.
Immigration detention should have clear time limits, with public and legal scrutiny and detained people must have the ability to challenge that detention.
Immigration detention should have all the ordinary standards expected by the rule of law, with a framework governed by legal rules, not by discretion.
Immigration detention should be conducted with every step taken to ensure that a person in detention can access all necessary legal and welfare services and to ensure that every detainee can properly realise their right to legal advice.
On July 23, 2008, at exactly 9:00pm WST, 20,000 people sent their endorsement to the petition. See the GetUp campaign page screenshot below!