We are facing an international humanitarian situation; it's not a war, or a national emergency, or a border security crisis.
Even with cruelty and deterrence, Australia will never be able to equal the threat of brutal persecutors like the Taliban. Refugees will keep travelling in an ‘irregular’ manner while there are no safe or ’regular’ pathways available to them.
Led by the major parties in their race to the bottom, Australia has lost its way on refugees. The Greens want to turn this around. Our refugee response is for a genuine regional arrangement, founded on compassion, practicality, cost-effectiveness and our international legal obligations under the Refugee Convention.
The Greens will increase Australia’s humanitarian intake by an additional 10,000 to 30,000 per year as a key element of our plan to save lives and provide safer pathways for refugees.
Instead of spending billions of dollars on inhumane detention centres in Nauru and PNG, Australia could give hope to asylum seekers in Indonesia and, by further increasing our humanitarian program, give them a reason not to embark on dangerous, risky boat journeys.
Australia must support better and safer refugee assessments in Indonesia to clear the backlog and stop people being forced by dire circumstances onto dangerous boats.
As the wealthiest country in our region, we should urgently invest $70 million into places where refugee adults and children are currently waiting in unliveable and poverty stricken conditions — not after, but before anyone gets on a boat in desperation.
Providing safety in the form of assessment centres, run by the UNHCR, international welfare organisations and local services, would give refugees hope and a reason to stay on shore.
No child should ever be in detention, in Australia or in any other country.
The Labor Government has already had to bring back children from Manus Island after the first failed attempt to house them there. There is no credibility or humanity in the major parties’ cruel and ineffecitve policies which force children into further danger, including anxiety, lack of proper education and malaria risk, on Manus Island.