Category Archives: Asylum seekers

Julian Burnside on human rights and refugees

Julian Burnside’s 2014 Sydney Peace Prize lecture is wide ranging, informative and passionate. Watch it online here.

Take action to stop TPVs

Amnesty is asking for as many people as possible to ring Australian Senators to protest against TPVs. The campaign is set out at

Whilst the moving of asylum seekers out of offshore detention to the Australian mainland is a welcome movement, the use of TPVs is not a solution.

TPVs, previously disallowed by the Australian Senate, are a class of visa offering protection for up to three years to asylum seekers found to be genuine refugees.
TPV claims are re-assessed every three years and holders are returned to their country of origin if their claim is overturned.

TPVs are cancelled if the holder leaves Australia, and the holder cannot return. TPVs do not permit family, such as wives, husbands and children, to come to Australia.

We know from past experience that TPVs are unfair, inhumane and ineffective.

Their use during the first Pacific Solution (1999-2008) was supposed to discourage “boat people” by restricting the rights they’d be entitled to once they arrived in Australia. However, there is no evidence that TPVs have ever deterred people seeking asylum by boat.

In fact, in the two years following the introduction of TPVs, the number of boat arrivals increased, with 90 per cent of people (mostly men) granted permanent protection visas. The number of women and children risking the potentially fatal journey to Australia to reunite with their husbands and fathers also increased.

TPVs create uncertainty in the lives of asylum seekers, who constantly fear being returned home. Unable to fully settle into the community, the lives of TPV holders are put on hold for years. Stable, full-time work is harder to find because of the uncertainty of their residence, leading to a higher risk of poverty and welfare dependency. Separation from family has been shown to cause increased mental health problems for TPV holders.

Amnesty says asylum seekers should not be forced to return to war zones

Amnesty International today urged the Federal Government to guarantee asylum seekers will not be returned to countries like Iraq or Syria where they are likely to face death or serious injury.

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Government must go further says Amnesty International

Amnesty International welcomes the announcement that the unlawful detention of children under the age of ten in onshore Immigration Detention Centres will end.

The Government has announced new bridging visa arrangements for young children and their families in onshore detention, releasing them into the community on bridging visas, if they arrived before 19 July last year.

But the continued detention of children and their families in the appalling conditions on Nauru and Christmas Island remains unaddressed.

“We support the Government’s admission that mandatory detention is costly and damaging,” said Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Coordinator for Amnesty International.

“But given this has been acknowledged by the Government, it must also release kids from detention on Nauru and Christmas Island and expand this announcement to include children over the age of ten.”

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Australian government’s shocking secret and harsh treatment of asylum seekers exposed

Shocking revelations from lawyers representing some of the 157 asylum seekers transferred to Nauru on Friday night have exposed the extreme lengths to which the Australian government will go to maintain its harsh and secretive asylum seeker policy.

According to the Human Rights Law Centre, nine of the asylum seekers were shown lifeboats and told that they would be responsible for taking everyone back to India.

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