Friday, February 17, 2006

Human Rights in Australia

The excellent website run by Human Rights Watch turns the spotlight on Australia and its Temporary Protection Visas for refugees.

The key points of the attack are: temporary status is inappropriate for fully adjusted refugees, there are procedural failings in TPVs and they create a misallocation of resources.

The first point (inappropriateness) is further divided into 3 parts.

They are
a) Australian policy has no international precedent. For instance in the US, temporary protection is an additional status to regular refugee status – not a replacement for it.
b) TPVs should have a finite duration. Without this, it means that despite growing significant ties to Australia during their stay, they may always remain on TPVs.
c) there is no jurisdiction in international law for re-proving refugee claims.

The procedural flaws include:
a) TPVs shift the burden of proof from the state to the migrants themselves. People who have been subject to gross human rights violations never want to return to their native country regardless of how conditions may have changed there in the interim.
b) “The 7 day rule” means that those on TPVs can be banned from ever applying for permanent protection visas.
c) There are limitations on judicial reviews. The misallocation of resources means that every individual claim is judged at least twice.

Refugees know better than any bureaucrat where is truly ‘home’ for them.

Still No #
So this is public property, I no longer own
These words…unless, unless they never leave me
Best lay in doubt and working it out
Find its time and measurements deceive me
People take comfort in truth
Nesting in a willing sanctuary
There was an asylum beside them
A people crushing factory
Laying awake at night afeared
Wondering what happened to Occam’s beard
Nutmeg omelettes at the Grand
Dynamite energy total fire banned
My reaction semi-equal and opposite
Friends and enemas becoming composite
Thus enamoured will defeat with ease
Under shower of cloud-cow faeces
Me I’m just making ends meet

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