It has been alleged that people who have the resources to pay people smugglers could not possibly be genuine refugees. The UNHCR disputes claims about 'cashed up' refugees saying that payments made to people smugglers in fact range from AUD $4000 - $5000. In reality, many families and communities pool their resources in an attempt to send their relatives to safety, so great is the desperation to escape certain persecution.
Amnesty International acknowledges and upholds the right of nation states to maintain border integrity, and recognises that organised people smuggling undermines policing who may or may not enter
However, punitive policies imposed by the Australian government in an effort to stop people smuggling deliberately punish the refugees who entered
People smuggling is a crime that the international community needs to combat. Yet at all times this must not undermine the legitimate right of those fleeing persecution to seek refuge. The international community, in eradicating people smuggling, is also required to address the growing numbers of asylum seekers throughout the world.