RISE highly condemns the proposed reintroduction of Temporary protection Visas (TPVs) for refugees by Australia’s Liberal/National coalition government yesterday. TPVs create greater discrimination of refugees who happened to use boats as a mode of transport to Australia to seek asylum and prevents them from receiving basic entitlements under the UN refugee convention. How can TPVs provide a permanent humanitarian solution for people fleeing trauma and persecution? TPVs prevent family reunion or even overseas travel to visit family. TPVs increase the sense of uncertainty and violate the principal of non-refoulement by placing pressure on refugees to self-deport. At RISE we believe this policy reinforces the inequality faced by asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat.
There are over 50 million displaced refugees around the world, many languishing without proper protection in interim camps around the world. The offshore processing system will add tally to the interim camps and keeps refugees in isolation.
At RISE many of our members and founding members were on TPVs during the Howard regime and many are still on permanent resident visas without citizenship status. We are aware of individuals from this group who are now Australian citizens are unable to reunite with their immediate family members.
Irrespective of how people arrive to Australia, asylum seekers should not be punished for asking to be safe and protected. They should be treated with dignity and respect without being isolated behind barbed wire in remote deserts and islands or released into the community to face a life of deprivation and uncertainty due to punitive and discriminatory refugee policies.
Deterrence measures may lower the number of asylum seekers in Australia, but it is not a just and humanitarian solution for asylum seekers and it will not put a stop to people coming to this country by boat. The Australian government’s claim that deterrence saves deaths at sea is misleading. There is evidence that deterrence policies force refugees into more extreme danger. People fleeing persecution will always keep trying to reach a more secure location for themselves and their families, whether there is a policy to stop them or not.
We urgently request the Australian Government and the public to show understanding towards asylum seekers who reach Australia to seek protection, to take all steps to have fair processing of asylum claims in Australia and ensure ALL refugees are granted permanent protection but not TPVs.
Get involved and stop the proposed reintroduction of TPV (Temporary protection VISA) by the Australian Government:
To lobby for international actions, click on the following links and alert your concern:
UNHCR Geneva http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a324fcc6.html
UN New York http://www.un.org/en/contactus/
World Human Rights Watch firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.hrw.org/contact/new-york
High Commissioner for Human Rights email@example.com , infoDesk@ohchr.org
You can also contact your member in the House of Representatives and ask them to take action. Find your member
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