This is not a “nesting newlywed” topic, but given the current political furore, I considered it an expedient topic nonetheless. Being a nesting newlywed inevitably reveals a new phase or facet of adulthood and independence. Adulthood and independence also involves taking an active interest in the world. Entrusted with the democratic right to vote, we should be informing ourselves about issues which might influence to whom we give that vote. I have an especially active interest in asylum seeker policy, hence this post.
Working in a sector which provides assistance to the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse community, I am confronted with the “human face” of the asylum seeker issue on a daily basis. My views on the issue of asylum seekers, refugees and humanitarian entrants is left-leaning and biased, shaped by my experiences.
Although I commend the Australian Government for increasing its humanitarian intake, I am disturbed by its latest policy ostensibly to deter boats, prevent deaths at sea and clamp down on the people smuggling trade. This policy ignores the “push” factor of why these people are seeking asylum in the first place and fuels the misguided opinion that these people should be feared and prevented from entering Australia at all costs.
Attentiveness and indifference, an article by Klaus Neumann published on Inside Story, explores the indifference at the heart of Australia’s approach to asylum seekers, as well as setting out the reasons why he thinks Australia’s approach is wrong.
More interesting reading can be found here:
Defining success in the asylum seeker debate, by Melissa Phillips, Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne
5 Reasons not to Give Up – the Refugee Activists’ Guide to Debunking Rudd’s Policy to “Save Lives”, by Roxanne Moore, a lawyer and Fulbright Scholar commencing a LLM (International legal Studies) at New York University, and Alexandra Scott, an Environmental Scientist and Australian Delegate to Global Powershift 2013
Rudd’s PNG plan could worsen asylum seekers’ mental health, by Belinda Liddell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of New South Wales
As noted above, I am left-leaning and biased and the suggested reading reflects that. However, I hope you take the time to read at least one or two of the articles and form your own opinion on the issue of asylum seekers.