Damn, They’re Doing it Again…. Aren’t We Supposed to PROTECT Asylum Seekers??

Two things threatening my blood pressure this week regarding asylum seekers:

#1. This petition: https://www.change.org/p/peter-dutton-stop-the-deportation-of-5-year-old-child-with-ptsd-to-nauru?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=299145&alert_id=KUpdVoTnpK_kSyYdlIeZfbakKjPvKEiwIoCtaP8cstY2izhcGYJn9w%3D

“To Peter Dutton, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection,

This petition expresses Australia’s unequivocal objection to a 5-year old child suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) being sent back to indefinite detention in Nauru.

Australian mental health professionals and doctors have confirmed that this decision would only result in further physical and psychological harm to the child.

We urge you to allow the child and her family to stay in community detention while their claims for asylum are processed. Failing that, we ask that the child be allowed to stay with her uncle, who already resides in Australia.

You have options before you that better reflect the obligations placed upon us both by law and by basic human decency.

By law, we are bound to act in the best interests of the child. Our ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention against Torture, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights demand as much. Our own domestic laws denounce the negligent failure to protect a child from significant risk of harm.

As Australians, we believe in the fair and compassionate treatment of those who seek our protection. We refuse to be a nation that stoops to facilitating the further abuse of children in our care.

As human beings, we believe in the inherent right of every child to grow up in an environment which fosters their health and dignity. We refuseto forget that respect for our common humanity is what makes us strong.

I and many other Australians are only too aware that a society is judged by what it does for its children. For this reason, we respectfully ask that you make the one decision becoming of a country which prides itself on its sense of compassion and a fair go: Stop this child’s deportation to Nauru.

There are kids still on Christmas Island, despite the Govt saying they’d be “out by Christmas” last year. Not that I believed that ‘promise’. There are kids on Nauru too, subject to such cruel conditions, when they’ve already had to go through so much.

Which leads me to the second point.

#2. The Maintaining Good Order in Immigration Detention Facilities Bill is currently before Parliament. It is an atrocious bill that gives unprecedented powers to detention centre guards. GetUp are fighting against it of course: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/force-bill/

“The Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 seeks to give broad powers to security guards that will allow them to use force against asylum seekers being held in detention centres.

Examples of when force could be used against an asylum seeker in detention:2

  • to protect a person from harm, self-harm or the threat of harm
  • to prevent an asylum seeker from escaping detention
  • to prevent property damage
  • to physically move an asylum seeker
  • to prevent action that endangers life, health or security
  • to prevent action that disturbs good order, peace or security

The bill lacks appropriate safeguards and oversight to ensure prevent abuse of power, despite clear examples of detention centre staff abusing powers in detention:

    • In February 2014 23 year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Barati, was killed inside the Manus Island detention centre. An investigation into his death found he was beaten to death by detention centre staff.
  • In March 2015, the Moss Inquiry revealed multiple allegations of sexual abuse against women and children inside the Nauru detention centre, including incidents where guards forced women to expose themselves in exchange for access to the showers and other facilities.

[2] The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law and the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015

It’s dangerous, especially in light of Reza Berati and the Moss Review’s allegations. I’m annoyed and just so sick of this bunch of wankers.

Please, no.

Please consider signing the petition and (Aussies) use GetUp’s tool to email your senator.