As politicians and anti-refugee lobby groups capitalise on the latest tragedy at Christmas island to hysterically ask for tighter border control to purportedly prevent “deaths at sea” we would like to bring to your attention this reference to “Reluctant Rescuers” a book by former Australian Ambassador Tony Kevin (from page 2 of an analysis of the Houston report by the Melbourne anti-deportation group):

“Former Australian Ambassador and figurehead of the Senate inquiry into the sinking of ‘SIEV X’ in 2001, Tony Kevin, released a detailed examination of Australia’s border patrol and smuggling disruption operations in June 2012 entitled Reluctant Rescuers.

This examination recognises that the Australian public have been
encouraged to think of smugglers as the cause of boat tragedies, and to see the numbers of such incidents as increasing exponentially. Combining statistics of the Australian Parliamentary Library, Kevin reminds us that that given some 24,184 persons have arrived on boats since 1998, the death toll of people who have travelled by boat is around 2.7 percent if not below. Put another way, 97.3 percent of persons who embarked from Indonesia for Australia by boat since 1998 managed to arrive here safely. The point inciting these numbers is not to calculate away the tragedy of deaths at sea, but rather to ask; what happens in those 2.7 percent of cases, when 97.3 percent of passengers arrive safely?

The unwavering contention throughout Kevin’s book is simple; Australia’s border protection policies beginning in 1998 and continuing to date, including sophisticated disruption operations in Indonesia, have led directly to boat journeys toward Australia becoming more dangerous and deadly.”

Read More of the Melbourne Anti deportation group’s analysis here: https://docs.google.com/a/riserefugee.org/file/d/0B6buBGW0ICfud2pxRlZMN011Ym8/edit


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