A new approach: breaking the stalemate on refugees and asylum seekers

Refugees Human rights National security Right of asylum Australia

This report comprehensively critiques Australia’s refugee and asylum policies and finds they are inhumane, ineffective and expensive.

It argues that Australia needs a circuit-breaker in our treatment of people seeking asylum from war and persecution. On the 10th anniversary of the Tampa, Australia’s asylum and refugee policies are still sadly characterised by human tragedy, political opportunism, policy failure and great cost.

The authors of the report draw on their extensive policy experience to inject facts into a highly-politicised debate and put forward policies that ensure we treat people seeking asylum with fairness, assess their claims rigorously but with compassion, and develop policies that are in the interests of all Australians.

The report outlines 13 recommendations which all aim to ensure that Australia:

  • Adheres to all international conventions which we have voluntarily signed
  • Quickly and correctly identifies those who are refugees and grants them protection
  • consistent with UNHCR policies and guidelines
  • Protects Australians from any health or security concerns
  • Discourages dangerous journeys, but treats fairly those who have made those journeys
  • Affords all people in Australia their human rights, as well as access to the legal systems which deliver them, and
  • Rapidly returns home in safety and dignity those who are found not to be in need of Australia’s protection.
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