Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Amnesty fears impact of refugee policy

Amnesty International has criticised moves to change the way Australia identifies refugees.

Justice Minister Chris Ellison says Australia will consider seeking help from Indonesia in identifying asylum seekers from Papua.

Amnesty says the move, if adopted, would contravene Australia's international obligations under United Nations (UN) conventions.

Amnesty's spokesman on refugees in Australia, Graham Thom, says the proposal could put many people at risk.

"What the Minister is suggesting is that Australia identify to countries from which people have fled that these people are here," he said.

"This would put their families, colleagues and friends, and if we were to return them, those individuals, at serious risk of human rights violations."

International rules: Amnesty says identifying arrivals puts them and their families at risk.

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