Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Asylum seekers 'forced into life of poverty'

This blog has reported previously on the plight of asylum seekers living on the margins of our society in the twilight zone provided by Temporary Protection Visas.

The Age reports "more than 2000 asylum seekers are living in a state of forced destitution without the right to work or access Medicare, according to statistics obtained from the Immigration Department.

Under a controversial rule introduced in 1997, asylum seekers on certain visas are provided with no medical or income support and are forbidden from working, forcing them to rely entirely on charities for their survival. Some have been on these visas for years.

Critics claim the visa conditions are draconian and asylum seekers without a support network face poverty, homelessness and severe health problems if left untreated."

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