The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > The Indian Ocean Solution > Comments

The Indian Ocean Solution : Comments

By Ken Parish, published 5/11/2009

Take away the chance of an easy mainland visa and the tide of boats may ebb.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All
The authorís idea of sharing our refugees by placing them on various Australian islands to enjoy a carefree life safe from the twin evils of oppression and violence is a good one. Iím sure Norfolk Island (pop. 1800), Lord Howe Island (pop. 350) and King Island (pop.2500) would welcome the influx of refugees.

The UN Convention relating to refugees says:
"Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside his country of nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear is unwilling to return to it."

Itís clear from the above wording that Mr Hitler, Pol Pot, General Pinochet, General Galtieri, Stalin, Saddam, Franco, Mussolini, Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin, Somoza, Milosevic, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, and even GW Bush would see a claim for asylum have a good chance of succeeding. We are committed to Ďinternational lawí and our international reputation would be sullied if we didnít consider any applications from the above list. Iím sure the phalanx of human rights lawyers would see to that.
Posted by Sage, Thursday, 5 November 2009 8:53:19 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Seems to me we are saddled with a bandaid treatment to a problem that's been created during decades of Tamil unsuccessful claims to an autonomous state.

Surely Australian Governments, Foreign Ministers, Ambassadors, United Nations delegations could see the inevitability of Military action in the failure of a negotiated solution.

Aceh went the same way, a bloody guerilla war that cost many thousands of innocent lives until the earthquake generated Tsunami brought about a forced capitulation by the Acehenese.

East Timor could have been avoided if we had not given tacit approval
to an Indonesian takeover

We helped create the flood of refugees and asylum seekers from Iraq and Afghanistan in our contribution to the US adventures in the Middle East.

The same in the aftermath of Vietnam

Instead of being forced to deal with the flood of refugees fleeing death and destruction or persecution when they would surely prefer to live in peace in their homelands, We must apply our reasoning and financial expenditure to addressing the causes of the problem
Posted by maracas1, Thursday, 5 November 2009 10:40:11 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
At last another positive contribution, without any criticism and which sensibly addresses the problem and discusses the real issue. The numbers and mix of our immigration policy.

An extra 3,000 or 4,000 humanitarian places would have easily covered all the current extra arrivals. With the off-shore visa suggestion, which may have some similarity to Temperory Protection Visas, and likely just as effective, this is the best option to emerge ... so far.

It certainly takes away the incentive to employ a people smuggler as long as the periods of times involved remain similar to the waiting periods in refugee camps and refugee assessment is undertaken by the UN.
Posted by keith, Thursday, 5 November 2009 10:56:59 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Ken,
At last, an article that is a reasonable assesment of the problem and suggesting a way of dealing with that problem. Not sure yet about the details but the concept of not giving the illegals what they ultimately desire will quickly stop the boats coming.

It took years of progressively toughening the measures by the Howard government to finally stop the boats with the 'pacific solution'. the Rudd government may be successful with the 'Indonesian solution' or may consider an adaption of your 'Indian ocean solution'. But whatever, the illegals themselves have to be convinced that they will not get what they want, so abandon the idea of trying.

I have also wondered if we handed over the assesment, and paid for it to be done, to the UNHCR, on Christmas Islandi would that make a difference. I note that in the ME assesment produces about a 10% success rate for applicants, wheras in Aus, with people from the ME, the success rate is 90%. Seems that the UNHCR criteria is much tougher than ours.
Posted by Banjo, Thursday, 5 November 2009 11:18:00 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Sage, the Refugee Convention is not just international law, it is Australian law, embedded in our Migration Act. For this reason, your statement that Hitler, Pol Pot et al would be successful with an asylum claim is false. People who have engaged in war crimes or crimes against humanity are excluded from the right to protection under both international and Australian law.

Keith said:
"With the off-shore visa suggestion, which may have some similarity to Temperory Protection Visas, and likely just as effective.."

The TPVs were grossly ineffective both as a deterrent to boat arrivals and in enabling effective settlement and integration of refugees in our community. The two years following the introduction of TPVs saw a major INCREASE in the number of boats arrivals, with a corresponding increase in the numbers of women and children amongst them. One of the dumbest and cruelest of the Howard-era policies (brought in with the support of the ALP).

In regards to the main article, it is good to see efforts to explore workable solutions. Although I think the first thing we should all recognise is that there is no perfect solution, short of being able to reduce the sorts of circumstances which force people to be refugees in the first place. But reducing the need for people to engage people smugglers in order to do so is a very good idea. An orderly and relatively timely resettlement process is the best way to do that, but it still shouldn't exclude refugees who have to employ other mechanisms.

It should be that while it is true that "successive governments of both political persuasions have followed the practice of reducing the offshore humanitarian program in lockstep with any increases in irregular onshore arrivals granted protection visas," this 'linking' was brought in by the previous government. It is not automatic, and I think they should be de-coupled. Also, it is not just 'irregular' onshore arrivals, but also others who arrive with visas and claim asylum sometime later (who in most years are by far the majority of onshore claims).
Posted by AndrewBartlett, Thursday, 5 November 2009 11:19:14 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Banjo is of course wrong in calling asylum seekers "illegals", but he knows that. Presumably he just keeps doing it to create a false perception that asylum seekers are doing something that is against the law.

I understand the article's rationale behind keeping people on various offshore islands until a resettlement opportunity becomes available, but I'm not sure how it would see them getting resettled any more quickly than if we did the same thing in Indonesia, which is what we have been moving towards in fits and starts since 2001. Obviously conditions in Indonesia need to improve greatly, but the solution proposed here involves bringing people to Christmas Island, which presumably involves them being on a boat - I think the ideal outcome is for people not to need to get on a boat in the first place (or at least for as short a period as possible)

I'm also not sure about the bit regarding the risk of Tamils and Afghans forming 'enclaves' if we let too many in. There is already a significant Tamil community in a number of Australian cities; many of them have been quite successful in business, finance and other professions. Enclaves are only a serious problem if there is a cluster of disadvantage/poverty and little connection to the wider community. Good settlement support usually prevents this.

Finally, Australia did breach our non-refoulement obligations in the earlier part of this decade. Some Afghans kept on Nauru were returned and some have been killed; others have had to flee again.
Posted by AndrewBartlett, Thursday, 5 November 2009 11:21:23 AM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy