Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Big Win for the Refugees

The Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, has made significant concessions on the controversial policy of mandatory detention of refugees and asylum-seekers who enter the country illegally. But the fundamental basis of policy remains unchanged.

Essentially though, a better refugee policy is emerging in Australia. And the big winners are families, women, children, asylum-seekers behind the razor wire, and holders of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).

Thus, under the new policy framework, long-suffering parents and children will be freed from indefinite detention and thousands of people on temporary protection visas seeking permanent residency would have their applications to live in Australia fast-tracked.

Generally, the new sensibility in Australia’s refugee policy has given the Immigration Minister the discretion to release children and their families into the Australian community; ending years of detention.

On the whole, it’s a big win for the refugees and the asylum seekers.

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