New report urges Australia to rethink refugee program
26 July 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.Australia's Human Rights Commission has urged the federal government to make immediate changes to Australia's refugee program. The commission released their latest report this week calling for the government to create more opportunities for community placement for thousands of asylum seekers now in detention.
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Michael Raper from the Australian Red Cross, agrees with the recommendations, claiming that the current system is costly and harmful.
"The vast majority of people that we're looking after in community placements on bridging visas end up getting a protection visa," he said. "So why would we lock them up for long periods, disturb their mental health, make sure that they're not ready to go into the Australian community at the time they ultimately get their protection visa?"
The report makes eight recommendations, including that the Australia carry out its security checks on all asylum seekers immediately and try to find a less restrictive form of detention. Other recommendations included:
- The need to detain should be assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration individual circumstances.
- The Australian Government should comply with its international human rights obligations by providing for a decision to detain a person, or a decision to continue a person's detention, to be subject to prompt review by a court.
- The Australian Government should work towards a uniform model of community assessment and placement for asylum seekers. An individual assessment of suitability for community placement should be conducted at the earliest opportunity post-arrival.
"It's 93 days on average now compared to an average of 265 days about 12 months ago," Bowen said.
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