Monday, December 03, 2007

Human Rights in Australia - Pacific Solution to be abolished but we still have a long way to go on refugees

The Age reports "While Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd has claimed the Pacific solution is wrong and would be discontinued, asylum seekers intercepted outside of the migration zone would have their claims assessed on Christmas Island, not the mainland.

This would retain the two-tiered processing system, with those processed offshore remaining outside of Australian law and treated differently to those processed on the mainland, which refugee advocates say is unacceptable.

Under the new Government, Christmas Island, Cocos Island and Ashmore Reef will remain excised from Australia's migration zone.

The Government would search for a "durable solution" for boat people processed on Christmas Island and found to be genuine refugees, which could include resettling them in Australia.

However, shortly before the election, Mr Rudd refused to commit to Australia taking the 72 Sri Lankan refugees held on Nauru. He has also pledged to turn boats back at sea.

The Government is yet to commit to a deadline to closing the Nauru and Manus Island camps and transferring the 89 on Nauru to Christmas Island."

A Just Australia has set out a reform strategy for "the road ahead".

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