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Thoughts and Reflections on African Migration and Settlement in Australia.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Refugee Policy Reform

This week has witnessed some significant new developments in relation to the controversial issue of mandatory (and indefinite) detention of refugees and asylum-seekers in Australia.

In fact, Liberal politicians are taking important steps towards a just and more humane refugee policy.

Two Private Member’s Bills have been proposed by Petro Georgiou (Liberal-Victoria). The first Bill is a “Bill for an act of compassion”, which seeks to give permanent resident status for holders of temporary protection visas - a welcome news to the refugee advocates.

The second Bill is a “Bill for an Act to reform the mandatory detention system”. Its principal objective is to place a 90-day limit on the detention of refugees and asylum-seekers.

Both Bills will be discussed behind closed doors, in the Liberal Party room, although there is no guarantee of an open debate in the Australian Parliament.

Watch this spot!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rethinking Mandatory Detention Policy

The Refugee advocates in Australia have called for a major rethink of the government's mandatory detention policy as more cases of wrongful arrests and detention of genuine Australian citizens come to light.

Evidence points to the fact that, in recent years, immigration officials might have mistaken more than 200 Australians for illegal migrants. A clear case of mistaken identity!

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party backbencher, Judi Moylan, insists the mandatory detention policy has failed the test of humanity; arguing that the treatment of illegal migrants and asylum seekers must be reformed.

For more stories visit: http://africanrefugees.blogspot.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Revolt on Mandatory Detention

Moderate backbench MPs in the ruling Liberal Party in Australia are apparently worried about the mental health of detainees under the government’s policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and refugees who enter the country illegally.

As a first principle, the dissenting federal liberal MPs, have called on the government to release all women and children in detention on compassionate grounds in order to preserve life and human dignity.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Drought-hit Farmers Need Help

Australia faces a serious shortage of farmers as a result of the prolonged drought that has affected about 100,000 farm businesses, so says the Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson. Meanwhile, the government is considering a rescue package for the distressed farmers; including cash grants and easier access to welfare.