10 most needed changes to Australian Government’s policies towards asylum seekers and refugees

July 19, 2016

10 Changes that ALHR would like to see with respect to the Australian Government’s policies towards asylum seekers and refugees

  1.  End offshore processing and stop boat turnbacks.
  1. End the detention of children and families.
  1. Ensure timely access to durable solutions for recognised refugees. This includes resettlement — preferably in Australia or in a country which respects and protects basic rights — for recognised refugees in offshore processing facilities.
  1. Reinstate access to funded legal assistance for all asylum seekers, irrespective of whether they have valid visas, at all stages of the decision-making process.
  1. Remove barriers to family reunion for recognised refugees, including those who arrived by boat.
  1. Increase Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Programme intake.
  1. Abolish temporary protection visas and safe haven enterprise visas
  1. Work with UNHCR, States within the region and civil society on genuine regional solutions to enable asylum-seekers to apply for protection safely, including through the provision of funding.
  1. Revise the Migration Act to ensure that Australia’s interpretation of its obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention, including the definition of a refugee, is in line with international law.
  1. End the ‘fast track’ process for refugee status determination.

and 5 Extras

  1.  Ensure that Australia maintains mechanisms for complementary protection
  2. Work with the Nauruan Government to allow journalists and independent observers access to offshore detention facilities.
  3. Accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees.
  4. Speed up the resettlement processing of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees.
  5. Repeal the secrecy provisions in the Border Force Act which threaten to jail for up to two years any teacher, doctor or social worker working with asylum seekers who discloses confidential information.