What is Australia’s approach to migrant boats, and how could it be applied to the current crisis in the United Kingdom?
On plans to process asylum seekers offshore, the Home Secretary has said that “everything is on the table.”
The tragic death of 27 people in the English Channel has increased pressure on the British and French governments to act, as record numbers of people risk their lives crossing the English Channel in dangerous boats.
The British government is reportedly considering an Australian-style approach to the crisis, in which people could be processed at offshore detention centers, a controversial policy that has drawn criticism from the UN and other human rights watchdogs.
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has stated that “everything is on the table” in regards to plans to process asylum seekers offshore.
The most recent Government plan for immigration reform borrows from Australia’s approach, stating for the first time that “whether you enter the UK legally or illegally will have an impact on how your asylum claim progresses,” with those deemed to have entered “illegally” having limited rights.
So, what is the Australian system and how does it work? Here are some points to consider for the UK.
The refugee and humanitarian program in Australia is divided into two parts: onshore protection and offshore resettlement.
Those who arrive in Australia with a valid visa, such as a student or tourist visa, are eligible for onshore protection, which allows them to apply for permanent protection visas from within the country.
Those who arrive by boat or without a valid visa are exempt from this rule.
There are three parts to the offshore resettlement program: refugees, a special humanitarian category, and a community support program.
These rules apply to people from other countries who have been identified as refugees by the UN, as well as family members of those who have already arrived in Australia and those who are supported by local community groups.
Operation Sovereign Borders, a “military-led” approach to stop people smugglers and people arriving by boat, was launched by the Australian government in 2013.
“Anyone attempting an unauthorised boat journey to Australia will be returned to their point of departure, returned to their home country, or transferred to another country,” the government states.
“No one who enters Australia illegally by boat will be allowed to stay.”
The move, according to the government, is intended to “protect Australia’s borders.”
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
What is Australia’s approach to migrant boats, and how might it apply to the current crisis in the United Kingdom?
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How does Australia deal with migrant boats? What the approach involves and how it could apply to the UK crisis
I came to Australia asking for safety when I was just 15 years old.
Now I am 23 and still in detention. I am suffering.
— Mehdi Ali (@MehdiAli98) August 16, 2021
All deaths of people who seeking asylum in Australia detention network by suicide or illness, was PREVENTABLE.
They did let it all happen because the authority do believe in a policy called #trivializing people who seeking asylum.#LetUsLive
— Adnan Choopani (@AdnanChoopani) October 31, 2021
We asked for safety and they gave us prison… pic.twitter.com/4MBdF0VWJB
— Mehdi Ali (@MehdiAli98) August 20, 2021
8years of my life lost to detention The most formative years of my life are gone These are the years in which I was supposed to spend being a child and choosing a pathway for my future Instead, these were eight years spent in detention experiencing frustration suffering&misery. pic.twitter.com/p7FzA54ajh
— Mehdi Ali (@MehdiAli98) August 1, 2021