As a global community we are suffering from a refugee crisis. That is the simple reality. While some countries are doing their part and accepting as many as they can handle, and other communities have come together and embraced multiculturalism. Others have not.
Some countries have decided that it is easier to hide the people that are seeking refuge and asylum in distant places and honestly it’s an out of sight and out of mind technique. Australia has taken this approach, going a step further by placing innocent people in unlawful imprisonment, in unsafe foreign lands.
The two destinations in question at this present moment are Manus Island and Nauru. Both of these foreign lands are responsible for housing the innocent souls seeking refuge and asylum in Australia.
So now that I have given you a brief (and not even close to complete) introduction. Lets now discuss the real issues at hand; The Australian Government knowingly putting innocent vulnerable people in dangerous circumstances.
Earlier this year 1,923 former and current detainees that had been illegally imprisoned and neglected on Manus Island were awarded $70 million in a class action against the Commonwealth (finalised in a settlement out of Court). This illegal detainment and neglect had been occurring since November 2012 and the detention centre is still open. Although to at least to slightly rectify the issue, it has been set to close by the end of October.
So with the closure of Manus island looming, refugees have been invited to opt-in to a transfer to the detention centre in Nauru as the Australian Government is seemingly running out of options to where they want to imprison these innocent people.
So, now we start the topic of Nauru. It can’t be as bad as Manus right? However, the fact is that offshore detention is offshore detention and between Nauru and Manus, there is little to no difference between them. The Australian Human Rights Commission found in 2014 that offshore processing puts asylum seekers and refugees at a high risk of being forcibly returned to a country where they would be subjected to persecution. As well as the rates of self-harm and detrimental mental health being quite high in these detention centres. See more here.
At least to some extent, offshore detention does not discriminate. Men, women, and children are all sent to detention. The educated, the non-educated, the young, the old, the healthy and the sick can all be sent to offshore detention. The Australian Government has placed these people in unlawful detention because they are desperate and they need our help. Honestly, what Government could imprison innocent vulnerable people?
So to talk about what Human Rights are being breached by offshore detention by the Australian Government;
Firstly Article 5 ‘The right to not be tortured, or treated cruelly, inhumanly, or degraded as a form of punishment.’ Australia has inhumanly treated and degraded human beings due to the simple fact that they needed a safe place to go.
Article 9 is the next human right breached with offshore detention; ‘The right to not be arbitrarily arrested, detained or exiled unfairly,’ with thousands of innocent people being detained every day, do I need to say anymore?
Article 14 ‘The right to seek asylum,’ do I need to add anything to that? Australia is not allowing human beings their human right to seek asylum for what reason? For what cause?
Article 25 ‘The right to adequate living standards and social protections,’
Article 28 ‘The right to a free and fair world’
And lastly Article 30 ‘The right to Human Rights that nobody can take away’
At least 6 human rights are breached with the Australian Government’s Offshore Detention Centres and yet they are still open, and yet people are unlawfully imprisoned. How in anyone’s mind is this okay, and why hasn’t it changed.