Safer pathways for refugees | Australian Greens

Safer pathways for refugees

Turning back the boats does not save lives. It simply condemns people to die elsewhere.

Monday, July 27, 2015

There is no one solution to helping refugees, but while we continue to see this as a border protection issue where refugees are punished for arriving, rather than a humanitarian problem, some of the world’s most vulnerable people will continue to suffer at our hands.

The Greens have a clear policy to stop deaths at sea without simply pushing people out of our waters to die elsewhere. 

  1. The Greens support a genuine regional arrangement that will mean desperate people do not have to embark on risky boat journeys to escape unacceptable, unsafe and inhumane conditions.
  2. We will develop a comprehensive Search and Rescue strategy, funded and operated in collaboration with our regional neighbours to help save lives at sea - not simply push them out of sight and out of mind.
  3. We believe that we must invest more in better and safer refugee assessments in Indonesia and neighbouring countries to clear the backlog and stop people being forced by dire circumstances on to dangerous boats.  
  4. We must increase our refugee humanitarian intake to at least 30,000 refugee every year to help provide support for the overburdened and under-resourced refugee camps around the world. By increasing our humanitarian intake we reduce the need for people to take risky boat journeys to flee unacceptable and often overcrowded conditions in refugee camps.  
  5. We will create more family reunion places in Australia’s humanitarian program to stop women and children boarding boats to reunite with family members.
  6. The Greens will never support cruel, illegal and inhuman offshore detention centres. We must close down Nauru and Manus Island and assess refugee claims onshore.

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 or war; and refugees will continue to get on dangerous boats while there are no safe alternatives available to them. 

Offering a genuine, safer alternative pathway is the only way to stop deaths at sea. That’s why we support a genuine regional arrangement that creates real, alternative pathways.

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