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Nov 22, 2012

Deterrence goal locks us onto a path of cruelty

The government has no alternatives in its treatment of asylum seekers other than deterrence. It will stick to his guns no matter the public outcry over camp conditions.


That the government’s revamped Pacific Solution always risked being both less effective and more brutal than the Malaysian policy overturned by an unusual combination of the High Court, refugee advocates, the Greens and the Coalition was apparent from the moment the Houston panel presented its report. So far, that’s exactly how it’s panned out.

The government doesn’t, however, have a political problem arising from the cruelty of its Nauru and Manus Island facilities, whatever the constant criticism from the Left (especially the meaningless, irrelevant and inaccurate claim that we are not meeting our treaty obligations) or on social media. As an issue of importance to voters, asylum seekers has actually diminished in the last five months, Essential Media found this week. Indeed, there may be many voters who are only too happy to hear that asylum seekers are suffering from poor conditions on Nauru.

Moreover, whatever the government might say, it is in its interests for the media to detail how bad things are there, in the hope that a deterrent message reaches would be asylum seekers via relatives and communities in Australia. Complaining that conditions on Nauru are cruel misses the point: they are supposed to be cruel, sufficiently cruel that they will deter people from trying to come here by boat.

Whether that holds once an asylum seeker takes their own life, as may well be the case the longer they remain in a state of uncertainty on Nauru, is something we hopefully never learn.

But the government’s admission yesterday that it had, in effect, been overwhelmed by people smugglers and would be resurrecting a form of Temporary Protection Visa for those people it wasn’t able to (yet) fit onto Nauru or Manus Island resets the political problem. We now have virtual offshore processing. Whatever the deterrent effects, dumping asylum seekers on Nauru and in PNG had the political value of exporting the problem. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s no longer the case.

Nonetheless, the government could not have done anything else. It is locked into the policy. It has no alternatives: its own, preferred Malaysian Solution, which would have been both more effective and less inhumane, has been wrecked (the Greens should dwell on that as they whip themselves into a frenzy over the current policy); the Coalition’s policy is no different, except for the weird fantasy of turning back the boats, which Tony Abbott can’t even bring himself to broach with the Indonesian president, and the only plan coming from the Left (and some on the libertarian Right) is to essentially throw open Australia’s borders via a processing centre in Indonesia.

The only successful part of the government’s policy has been returning hundreds of illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka, who despite a campaign by some to portray them as victims of a brutal victor in the civil war in that country, have no claims to asylum.

Locked into the objective of deterrence, the government has in a way handed policy to people smugglers. The more boats they try to send, the more the government will have to do to make life inhospitable for those who arrive. It is a path that has already taken this government beyond the boundaries pushed by the Howard government, and it may take them to places still less comfortable as time goes on. There is no realistic choice.


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75 thoughts on “Deterrence goal locks us onto a path of cruelty

  1. iggy648

    I see Scott Morrison is against giving handouts to asylum seekers. This must mean he favours letting them get jobs. Good man! This is the most humane thing I can remember him saying!

  2. Jenny Haines

    Bernard, just because the lemmings are heading for the cliff, it doesn’t make it right that they are going to go over it. And Labor is heading for the cliff alright, if not electorally, as you can always count on the people sitting in their warm comfortable lounge rooms in marginal seats to judge asylum seekers harshly, then definitely as we become more and more of an international pariah due to our cruelty to refugees and asylum seekers. How can Labor politicians, Left and Right, stand with straight faces and talk about Labor values when they allow such cruelty, such breaches of international obligations, all in the name the need to win an election and the need to appease Mr Tony the No Man Abbott? And none of it is stopping the boats because none of it is addressing the push factors. Labor has lost its way on asylum seekers and I am very ashamed.

  3. Wallace Scott

    Print money to bring the AUD down. Use the money to build infrastructure and housing. Allow asylum seekers overseas to apply for these jobs, and pay a few thoundsand for a special visa to come to Australia instead of paying people smugglers. They need to pass preliminary test and look likely to be accepted as refugee for resettlement when assessment is complete and must work on contract no welfare while awaiting assessment.

    Charge them good tax rate for the government, rental and medical insurance etc. They’ll be happy even if they are charged a lot.

    Kill 3 birds with 1 stone. Less spending on deterrence, increase productivity and government assets, better economic conditions for business as the dollar drop.

    Unfortunately the Green’s proposal won’t work because as we can see Italy has processing centre in Libya yet they still reveive huge amount of boat arrivals and drownings are normal news there.

  4. Wallace Scott

    4th bird, relieve bottle neck pressure and less drownings

  5. beachcomber

    Standing in Lower Manhattan on the Hudson River bank during “Super Storm Sandy”, and telling the waters not to rise. Sticking bandaids on a severed artery. Both are probably more productive than introducing draconian laws to prevent asylum seekers fleeing their homelands. Unless we address the various reasons people flee various countries, nothing we do here will stop people leaving war, famine and persecution, to seek security. Nor should it. We signed up to International Treaties decades ago, and it is disgraceful that domestic politics is seeing the Government and Opposition ignore our obligations.

  6. Ian


    If you are a Labor supporter you might consider ditching them. I strikes me that it has long ago lost it moral integrity and now does only what it feels might best enable it to hang onto power – power not for what it can do with that power to achieve a more equitable and moral society and world around us but power for powers sake. There are more choices than between just evil and the lesser evil out there you know.

  7. shepherdmarilyn

    You lazy moron, they are not overwhelmed by people smugglers, there is no such thing as a fucking people smuggler.

    You have been in Canberra too long and no longer have a clue what you are talking about.

    The Sri Lankans have been the largest group, they sail themselves.

    And the Indonesian crews are not being charged now so who are the people smugglers cretin breathe.

    And how dare you claim based on some ridiculous online Essential poll that 23 million people actually want to pay billions to torture innocent people and that treaty obligations don’t matter.

    They do matter you moron. They are the whole fucking point.

  8. Observation

    Good call Wallace Scott. You have the right attitude and you would think the brains trust of the country would be able to put something together. The state of our governments lack of ability to step up to the plate on the current challenges has me completely deflated. I can see no fertile ground on our political landscape for progressive thinking to take root. Its all a cesspool of self preservation and tunnel visioned stubbornness.
    Our future generations will look back on this time with disgust on how inhumane we became as a nation and how bereft of ideas and visionaries our government had become.

  9. Hunt Ian

    Labor is trying to prevent boat trips for asylum claims in Australia on the ground that these are too dangerous. It would be better to prosecute people smugglers for manslaughter and give them long sentences in Australian gaols for so long as they send people in unsafe boats. This would require cooperation from Indonesian police and a lack of corruption in Indonesia. This seems hard to get.

    Cruelty was the policy of the coalition and will be the policy of the coalition again, so why would anyone ditch Labor for the only govt alternative, a Coalition govt which would be worse than Labor?

    The so-called “Malaysian solution” might make things better, as long it were accompanied with hard guarantees that people would not be sent back to face the persecution that they are escaping. For cynical reasons the Coalition opposes this and the Greens oppose it also, although the only practical alternatives seem much worse.

    In principle, the Greens are correct. If we could prosecute people smugglers for manslaughter, their policy would be much better but if we cannot they are condemning asylum seekers to collaboration with persecutors as we deny people who can’t afford fake passports, bribes to officials and air fares a chance for proper asylum. My hope is that the Greens will decide to conditionally accept the Malaysian solution with a sunset clause, with a guarantee that the govt will simply raise asylum acceptance numbers and improve processing in Indonesia and Malaysia so that people have little incentive to risk their lives in unsafe boats if that fails.

  10. errolm@gmail.com

    I agree totally with Jenny – sounds like Bernard is a member of the Labor caucus!

  11. shepherdmarilyn

    Bernard, we have obligations no matter what you say. If you think they are meaningless why don’t you tell us how they are meaningless when we agreed with 148 nations to uphold them and we helped to write them.

    You have been sucking on the Canberra tit for too long and have become as big a moron as the two major parties.

    There is no such thing as refugee deterrence, we did that in 1938 and when I read papers like Haaretz I know that families who lost members thanks to that policy in 1938 still don’t know for sure what happened to them.

    If you can’t be bothered understanding that the right to seek asylum without being punished or hurt is a rock solid universal humanitarian right then just don’t write anything at all.

    As for being swamped, according to the latest DIAC report 32 million movements in and out of Australia last year did not even register with the population, only the arrival of a few thousand refugees on frigging boats.

  12. iggy648

    Jenny and Ian, remember the alternative is Tony Abbott. I think we should let asylum seekers into our community, and in 12 months allow them to get jobs (as advocated by Scott Morrison). Let’s face it, people who have managed to save enough to pay people smugglers despite living in difficult circumstances in their homelands, and who are prepared to risk their lives to get here, are probably going to be the best and hardest working citizens we’ve ever had.

  13. zut alors

    Refugees believe they will come to a sticky and premature end in their own countries, therefore take what we perceive as outrageous risks. If they come to a premature end on the high seas they have lost nothing.

    Nevertheless our elected representatives imagine that a cold reception at this end will deter the desperate. Our politicians are fools. And callous.

  14. shepherdmarilyn

    Ian, why would we prosecute the Indonesians for anything, we are the ones who watch refugees being loaded in INdonesia and then we are the ones who fail to rescue people for days on end.

    Prosecute us, not the INdonesian crews.


    We sign up to the notion that capital should be free to roam the world and land on any shore it can make the best return, but god forbid that people should have the right to leave a place of violence and persecution and seek refuge elsewhere.

    The hypocrisy, and sheer stupidity of our collective actions are only matched by the level of racism that keep our outrage pumped up to eleven.

    I’m left with disgust, and not much optimism that this barbaric and pointless cruelty will end any time soon.

  16. Bill Hilliger

    Tony Abbott and his cabal said – ‘pick up the phone ring Nauru and Manus Island arrange for boat people to be sent there and the boat people flow would stop’. Well, all that has been done and more boat people are arriving each day, why aren’t the media examining this Abbott fantasy notion of stopping the boats? I tell you why not – push factors, boat people, Nauru, Manus Island are not related. When people flee misery at their country of origin sending them to far away places to be processed will not work. @ zut alors, I concur if our elected representatives imagine that a cold reception at this end will deter the desperate. Our politicians are just callous fools. Because of the coalition dog whistle attitude about boat people this whole situation has degenerated into a sad and desperate race to the bottom. Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have to answer the question as to why once their policy of sending boat people to Nauru and Manus Islands; boat people still keep coming. Once again the Australian people have been conned by the coalition and their inept and miserable attitude to a desperate people.

  17. GeeWizz

    See what Labor have done here is be half-tough and have once again come off as completely gutless in the eyes of people smugglers and illegals.

    Wind your minds all back to the year 2001. The Tampa showed up on our shores and John Howard said in no uncertain terms… THESE PEOPLE WILL *NOT* TOUCH AUSTRALIAN SOIL.

    It was a strong message. It was a clear message. It wasn’t weasel words. And he followed through on the threat…. not one single illegal on the Tampa got to set foot on Australian soil. He put them all onto a Navy boat and carted them up all up to Nauru.

    The message was clear. This government was no longer putting up with illegals arriving by boat and if you came this government would give you the exact same fate.

    Now lets fast forward to the gutless Labor weasel words and half-baked plan.

    Chris Bowen in his own words: “If you come to Australia by boat, you run the risk of being sent to Nauru”(after landing on Australian soil and being given security and health checks)

    GUTLESS. Absolutely GUTLESS. And guess what, the illegals and people smugglers laughed at this government yet again.

    Run the risk? Onshore health and security checks? It’s the half-tough/half-weak policies of this government that have got it into trouble.

    They have sabotaged the Pacific Solution. Purposely. All they had to do was say you WILL go to Nauru if you come illegally by boat. All they had to say is you WILL NOT touch Australian mainland. And all they had to do was FOLLOW through on the threat.

    But instead we got gutlessness, instead we got procrastination with only a handful of people sent and not 1 woman or child sent until yesterday.

    This government is weak and gutless and the people smugglers and illegals are laughing at them and so are the Australian public.

  18. Hoojakafoopy

    GeeWizz your language betrays your ignorance. They are asylum seekers, not “illegals” which is not even a word.

    Christopher Dunne hit the nail on the head. Money trumps people every time, including its freedom of movement, and Australia’s delusion of an ‘egalitarian society’ is lost beyond its borders.

  19. iggy648

    Hi GeeWizz, for the slow like me, can you define an “illegal” and what they have done that makes them “illegals”?


    GeeWiz, don’t facts matter much to you?

    Howard did a song and dance and you fell for it, that is all. Many of those on the Tampa ended up here after a long and horrible incarceration on Nauru, or we paid New Zealand to take them. In other words, they were refugees and we fulfilled our obligations after Howard’s blustering show.

    These simple facts are easy to find, so I can only presume you choose to be ignorant of them so you can do your own version of Howard’s silly tough swagger.

    “Weak and gutless” is what I call intellectual dishonesty. Think about it.

  21. NeoTheFatCat

    I keep thinking about the Swiss before and during WWII (I’ve lived there off and on for a bit).

    You see, they needed to have secure borders – they had the Nazis right on their doorstep, who had already demonstrated their capacity to annex and later invade neighbours. They were such a small country – surely no-one expected them to take in every Jew in Europe? And besides, they had an embassy in every European capital – anyone wishing to migrate could simply turn up and apply for a visa (ie. join the queue). So, when the Swiss border guards returned fleeing Jews to Germany, they were just dealing with “queue jumpers”, “illegals” and “securing their borders”. Right?

    Before anyone bleats about Godwin’s Law, I am drawing a comparison between the levels of compassion shown by the Swiss in the 40s and ours.

  22. Venise Alstergren

    On the whole it might be a cheaper option to infiltrate the governments of the countries who are, in effect, exporting human beings. Making sure these countries have decent and humane governmental systems may be time expensive, but it is a more laudable exercise than shoving refugees into detention centres and concentration camps.

    Soaking up the world’s refugees solves nothing. Solving the problems of rotten government may be a possibility.

  23. GeeWizz

    [“GeeWizz your language betrays your ignorance. They are asylum seekers, not “illegals” which is not even a word.”]

    When the Coalition gets back into government the lefties will do their bit again in helping stop the boats by screaming how evil, inhumane and cruel the Federal Government is treating these illegals.

    That’s just the sort of language that helped Howard stop the boats back in 2001, thanks for that guys.

  24. GeeWizz

    [“Howard did a song and dance and you fell for it, that is all. “]

    The illegals and people smugglers fell for it to because the boats stopped.

    Howard didn’t use weasel words. When he said he was sending illegals to Nauru HE DID IT.

    I can’t ever remember Howard or Ruddock using weasel words like “Run the risk of being sent to Nauru”. No. They said you WILL be going to Nauru. No if’s. No but’s. No Maybess.

    And that’s exactly what they did. They sent every single one to Nauru or Manus. There was no lucky dip system, every SINGLE one of them was sent. That’s because the Coalition aren’t gutless like Labor.

  25. shepherdmarilyn

    Yeah Venise, we have been infiltrating Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade to bring them democracy, it’s worked a treat hasn’t it.

    It is not up to us to cure the woes of the world, it is only up to us to behave with decency to those who come and ask for our help.

  26. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Venise, you aren’t suggesting that we (Australia) “infiltrate” Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen (for a start) in order to make sure those countries “have decent and humane governmental systems”? Julia Gillard may be a woman and possibly a two-term prime minister but knocking out a new Asian empire before September next year would be a big call.

  27. Observation

    Maybe some fair international trading laws so that the poorer countries get a hand up. I dont think Venise is saying we take control of governments to try and fix the problem.

    Most of these war torn countries have been manipulated internally by powerful entities for profiteering reasons. Keeping local governments weak by instigating and backing civil war on both sides makes the resources easy pickings. The world leaders have lost the plot and are influenced too easily by money power to make a difference.

    Until we have a combined push on an international level to put human dignity and well being before the all mighty dollar we will always have a larger number of asylum seekers.

  28. David R

    Sorry Bernard, but you are wrong to say “there is no realistic choice”. The government may have chosen a set of policies but that doesn’t mean they are locked in forever. Especially as it is obvious that the policies have not stopped the boats and have caused significant trauma to people who have arrived in Australia to escape trauma.

    The government can admit that it has made mistakes. It can apply basic principles of human rights and rule of law. There are choices, just because a government doesn’t choose them for political reasons doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

  29. Hamis Hill

    The challenge of an empty Northern Australia and the challenge of filling up the lower socio-economic suburbs with jobless refugees.
    Ask Gina, she’ll find them plenty of work at $2/day, that capital that seeks the highest returns will come flooding in on the profits of low wages.
    The racially pure white trash can remain sacrosanct in their Western suburbs paradises, sleeping soundly at the thought that someone is lower than them in the pecking order.
    Special economic areas is the term.
    Bogans and Ockers can load up their rattle traps with Aussie flags and go and gawk at the Gina-slaves, it’ll take them at least four or five days to drive there to Northern Australia, (though the locals prefer Capricornia as the name for the new state).
    Same sort of deal as Bali with the locals working for very little.
    The Black and White indigenes can be the “supervisors”.
    Naturally the newcomers will not be allowed to vote, all a bit like West Germany’s guest workers.
    The unions will hate all this but they are all crooks and thieves,(perfect for the “supervisor” roles).
    It will happen when you all vote in Abbott because Labor is not cruel enough to “Illegals”.
    Needless to say health and education standards, the real reason “Illegals” come to any First world country, will be maintained at high levels, for the children of the $2/day “illegals will have full citizenship and will be free to go and live in the western suburb paradises.
    Everybody will be happy.
    Well, at least the whinging lazy scum who won’t leave the western suburbs will feel a little guilty for being dole bludgers while feeling they are at least one rung up the aspirational ladder than those poor bastard Illegals slaving away in Northern Australia on $2/day.
    Or all the bleeding hearts can sign up to share their houses with asylum seekers, clothe them and feed them, or is that a job for the taxpayer?
    Or the Magic Pudding?

  30. Ian

    Thank you shepherdmarilyn you have really given the heartless cretins the mouthful they deserve.


    I didn’t realize Labor and Liberals were the only alternatives we had. Have the other parties and independents been banned from contesting the elections? As far as I can tell the Greens have done/are doing their utmost to stop this insane demonization of desperate people (and they did their best on climate change too).

    Labor is not the same Labor as once stood up for the worker. It’s morphed into another neo-conservative faction of the right wing establishment. Time to let go even if in the short term it might mean that maniac Abbott ascends to the throne.

  31. Hamis Hill

    Strange how that superior intelligence of the middle class cannot understand the aspirations of the western suburb down and outs who will be voting Abbott in as PM on this asylum seeker issue.
    But, whatever happens,the middle class can still feel morally superior.
    “Now are we we the only ones who unserstand how terrible all this is? Why yes, it’s a middle class thing”.

  32. Steve777

    Nauru and Manus Island won’t work a second time. They worked first time because asylum seekers did not know they would most likely end up in Australia in a year or so. For all the knew they were being slung into a black hole forever. Temporary Protection visas didn’t work. They were introduced in mid 1999 and made no impact on arrivals:
    w w w .aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BN/2012-2013/BoatArrivals

    Turn back the boats is a fantasy. The Indonesians give no indication that they would agree to it and in any case it is rarely ‘safe to do so’. The ‘Malaysia Solution’ might have worked last year but things have gone beyond that now – criminal gangs in Indonesia will swamp it in under a month.

    If we want to really address the problem of irregular maritime arrivals of asylum seekers (not ‘illegals’) rather than a problem with marginal seats, we need to embark on the long slog of negotiating a regional framework with our neighbours. It will require patience, negotiation and compromise.

  33. floorer

    Okay the ALP stand up and do the right thing by the asylum seekers, lose the next election and then we get Abbott and we and the asylum seekers will all be better off. Right?

  34. shepherdmarilyn

    Floorer, short of shooting people at the border it can’t get much worse.

  35. AR

    Was not the argument, earlier this year, by BK and other pissant apologists that the Feds should try to cruel & evil policy advocated by the Nobrainers and, IF IT DID NOT WORK, then the ALP could say, ‘well, we tried it your way, now for something completely different..”.
    As expected, predictably & inevitably, the vicious bastard, bad-cop/bad-cop farrago failed but where is the “now for summat completely different”? Lost in the fukwit focus groupthink?

  36. AR

    the meaningless, irrelevant and inaccurate claim that we are not meeting our treaty obligation – that charge is (a)meaningful, (b)highly relevant & (c)totally accurate so explain your mendacity or are you just another dumb panderer or facilitator of press releases?
    You sometimes seem to have a functioning brain, though no trace of ethics or morality so try to do better, or at least stop shovelling the B/S.

  37. Achmed

    Gee Wizz…not quite true. Asylum seekers from the Tampa did make it to Australia. They were given TPV.
    Of the thousands held on Nauru 150 were sent to NZ and of the several thousand held on Nauru only 11 were refused and sent back. And Howard paid NZ for taking those asylum seekers

  38. GeeWizz

    Achmed like most lefties you got your numbers wrong.

    43% of illegals sent to Nauru got Australian settlement, 30% got sent to other UNHCR countries and the rest 28% were sent home.

    I know this because I actually research these matters and don’t just swallow leftwing bile. These numbers are from none other than the UNHCR themselves so don’t tell me it is lies.

  39. Achmed

    The matter of asylum seekers was not an issue until Howard demonised them with his children overboard lie….and even today there are far more “queue jumpers” coming into Australia through our airports.
    If was a terrorist trying to get to Australia, I wouldn’t be jumping on a leaky boat, risk drowning and then be at the whim of immigration officials.

  40. GeeWizz


    43% got Australian settlement, 30% were sent to other UNHCR countries, the rest were sent home. Please don’t make up your own facts.

  41. GeeWizz

    Achmed the matter of illegals wasn’t an issue until we got flooded by illegal boats because of Labor softening the border protection laws that worked.

    Labor made it an issue because they wanted to play goodie-too-shoes for the leftwingers in their party and now it’s come back to bite them on the ar5e.

    The only way Labor can stop it being an issue is to stop the boats, but they can’t stop the boats because they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to do whats needed and that is to send every illegal that arrives tommorow, the day after the day after that straight to Nauru without any stop over to either Christmas Island or the mainland and keep sending them until they get the message that Australia is not weak.

    Until that time illegals and people smugglers will laugh at this government.

  42. Ian

    This is off topic altogether I know but why have I not seen any coverage of the Isreali bombardment of Palestine in Crikey? Strange since it is major world news. Have I just missed it?

  43. Patriot

    Time to enact the 25mm cannon solution. Blow them out of the water!

  44. Achmed

    GeeWizz if it wasn’t an issue until we got ‘flooded’ because of Labor why then did Howard need the Pacific Solution?

  45. Achmed

    Gee Wizz – my figures from Parliamentary Library…and yours?….Quick call to phony?

  46. shepherdmarilyn

    There is no fucking flood, will Gee and others just shut the hell up about these poor people.

  47. Patriot

    Media release from Fleet Commander Chris Bowen on 2 February 2010

    “Under John Howard’s so-called Pacific solution, 1637 people – including 452 children – were packed off to Nauru and M_nus Island, where the average length of stay was 501 days or approximately one and a third years. The longest length of stay was 1958 days – more than five years.

    Of the 1637 people detained in the Nauru and M_nus facilities, 1153 or 70 per cent were ultimately resettled in Australia or other countries. Of those, 705 were resettled in Australia.”

    Tell Chris he has his figures wrong, Achmed.

  48. Patriot

    More from the same release:

    “The Liberal Party has today revealed plans to reintroduce the disgraced Pacific solution to detain asylum seekers

    The Pacific solution was a cynical, costly and ultimately unsuccessful exercise introduced on the eve of a federal election by the Howard government.

    The Rudd Government pledged to dismantle the Pacific solution. It has been done and there is no intention to return to that shameful period.

    Dumb lefties.

  49. GeeWizz

    Achmed because in 2001 we had 5500 illegals and at that time it was issue.

    When Rudd took over there was 120 illegals… then he made it an issue again and now under Dillard we have 14,000 illegals this year.

    If we want to stop the boats we have to get rid of Labor. Labor are too gutless to take the actions necessary to stop the boats like Howard did.

  50. shepherdmarilyn

    Gee if you call human beings illegals one more time I will hunt you down.

    Attorney General,
    You are breaking this treaty and trying to force other countries to criminalise refugees and their means of transport.

    That is not thing more and nothing less than a contribution to genocide of refugees.

    UNHCR Summary Position on the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime
    1. UNHCR has followed with interest the recent adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (“Protocol against Smuggling”) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (“Protocol against Trafficking”). The Office is pleased to be present at the High-Level Political Signing Conference held in Palermo, Sicily, from 12 to 15 December 2000.
    2. UNHCR shares the concerns raised by many States that criminal and organized smuggling of migrants, on a large scale, may lead to the misuse of national asylum or immigration procedures. However, given an increasing number of obstacles to access safety, asylum-seekers are often compelled to resort to smugglers. UNHCR is also aware of cases of trafficked persons, particularly women and children, who may, under exceptional circumstances, be in need of international protection. The Office therefore participated in the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna, supporting its efforts to elaborate international instruments which would enable governments to combat smuggling and trafficking of persons, whilst upholding their international protection responsibilities towards refugees.
    3. The Protocol against Smuggling, for instance, contains a number of provisions which may impact on smuggled asylum-seekers. The authorization to intercept vessels on the high seas, the obligation to strengthen border controls and to adopt sanctions for commercial carriers, or the commitment to accept the return of smuggled migrants may indeed affect those who seek international protection. A number of comparable provisions of the Protocol against Trafficking may have a similar effect.
    4. During the sessions of the Ad-Hoc Committee, UNHCR therefore emphasized the need to reconcile measures to combat the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of persons with existing obligations under international refugee law. The Office welcomes the adoption of a saving clause in both Protocols, designed to safeguard the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular in relation to the principle of non-refoulement.
    5. In addition, UNHCR appreciates the adoption of provisions for the protection of smuggled migrants, such as the obligation of States Parties to take appropriate measures to afford smuggled migrants protection against violence and to take into account the special needs of women and children. The Protocol against Smuggling is also clear in that it does not aim at punishing persons for the mere fact of having been smuggled or at penalizing organizations which assist such persons for purely humanitarian reasons. Indonesian fishermen do not deserve to be charged or jailed.
    6. In conclusion, UNHCR hopes that States Parties will respect the international legal framework set out by both Protocols through the adoption of similar safeguards in all bilateral or regional agreements or operational arrangements implementing or enhancing the provisions of these Protocols.
    11 December 2000

  51. Patriot

    Everybody has had enough of these illegal dirtbags. Even Aung San Suu Kyi said in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech that they are a bunch of diseased, criminal drunks and junkies.

  52. shepherdmarilyn

    Patriot, you are a diseased criminal dirt bag if ever there was one.

  53. iggy648

    ‘well, we tried it your way, now for something completely different..”. I agree with AR. My understanding was that all the offshore “solutions” were about stopping people from drowning. Now, I don’t think anything will stop the boats, so let’s embrace them. But elect the Coalition? Tony Abbott is in the same league as Patriot, attempting to demonise them by calling them illegals.

  54. GeeWizz

    [” I agree with AR. My understanding was that all the offshore “solutions” were about stopping people from drowning. Now, I don’t think anything will stop the boats, so let’s embrace them. “]

    Thats what the lefties claimed in 2001…. then Howard stopped the boats.

    It’s inconvenient for the lefties that Howard stopped the boats, but now it’s a historical fact the lefties have to make excuses as to why the boats stopped.

    Once a coalition government is elected and they stop the boats again we’ll once again, we’ll have to listen to all the leftie excuses once again. The left need to accept that with just the right amount of disincentives, these country shoppers will go elsewhere.

  55. Person Ordinary

    GeeWizz is a failed human. Patriot has also failed to develop a mature consciousness. Sad …

  56. Achmed

    For years we have heard Abbott ranting that Nauru and Manus are the solution. Labor have now introduced that plan and yet still the boats come…that’s the backbone of Abbott’s plan now shown to be cr*p. Liberals rant that we should introduce TPV, yet the Labor plan of “you will wait in the queue” is tougher, the new Bridging Visas are tougher, yet the boats still come. Abbott is now left with “turn the boats back”. The policy that has been condemned by the Navy who say they don’t have the resources and all that will happen is the boats will “sink” and the Navy will have to rescue the people. That is International Law and failure can result in criminal charges in the International Court. Abbotts other rant is to board the boats and remove fuel so they can’t get to Australia…thats called piracy.
    So what are we left with? A mix of Abbotts rants intorduced and labor’s tougher visa requirements and still over 95% of these demonised people being found to be genuine refugees.

  57. Hamis Hill

    You’ll have to read “The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich” by Walter Shirer to understand how Howard’s “Cruel” asylum seeker policies are part of the rise of “The Fourth Reich”.
    Caftan wearing “Illegals” were, during the depression, flooding in from the former OsterrReich dependencies, alarming the locals, who like our present Westies, were labouring with poverty and not feeling very generous.
    Also present was a “Concordat” with “that” church which seems to have been replicated with “that” church’s off spring dominating the Opposition.
    Patriot and Geewhizz seem to be of the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” variety, just like the thousands and thousands of parents who sent their children into “That” church’s schools in the wake of the 1990’s pervert priest scandals. Moral compass? It is very, very broken.
    Those who haven’t yet joined the “Fourth Reich” better make your choices, this is a do unto others story; easy to go from being “cruel” to helpless children, to “illegals and finally on to your own, fellow citizens.
    Couldn’t happen in OZ?; it already is happening.
    Democracy in Australia is bleeding to death from a knife
    wound to the throat.
    The time of desecration of all that previous generations held dear is at hand. Don’t call this democracy.
    Call it the Fourth Reich.

  58. GeeWizz

    Achmed Labor have only sent a handful of illegals to Nauru.

    This is in stark contrast to Howard and Ruddock who sent EVERY SINGLE ONE of them and not use weasel words like “run the risk of being sent to Nauru”.

    The problem is that the people smugglers and illegals are laughing at Labor because they are soft. Abbott and Morrison will wipe the smile off their faces I assure you.

    The boats won’t stop till there is a change of government this is now clear.

  59. Patriot

    Hamis, you’ll have to read The Camp of the Saints.

  60. Hamis Hill

    Does anyone know what a certain,”Patriotic” mass murderer in Europe had to say about Howard’s solution to “Illegals”.
    Just asking, Ockers, in case it has anything to do with your own country? She’ll be “Right”?; come the next election? Nah, couldn’t happen in good old OZ?
    Yah wouldn’t read about would yah, certainly not in the history books, we don’t do that sort of thing in the “Lucky” country. No need is there?
    She’ll be right.

  61. Hamis Hill

    Patriot, how about reading “The Conformist” by Aldo Moravia.

  62. Hamis Hill

    Camp of The Saints looks like a follow up to Mein Kamph.
    A Mittel -European preoccupation with the threat of Auslanders, ingrained down through the centuries.
    Inturn the effect of enslavement to a debilitating religion which weakens and destroys the spirit by deliberately holding its masses in the darkness of ignorance.
    The Roman Institution of slavery now under scrutiny in a Royal commission.

  63. iggy648

    Hi GeeWizz, for the slow like me, can you define an “illegal” and what they have done that makes them “illegals”? (See also 19 above)

  64. Ian

    not the other one

    If you need help you knock on the front door. If your illegal, you break in through the back door, after having jumped the fence.

  65. iggy648

    If someone was trying to kill you, and you came in my back door seeking safety, I’d probably say “Welcome stranger”, as long as you explained your predicament.I hope I wouldn’t say “I’m alright Jack, bugger off and die”.

  66. Venise Alstergren

    OBSERVATION {27}: Congratulations. You actually read what I was trying to say. Very refreshing, and accurate.

    To actually take over foreign governments is a ludicrous take on my comment. However, the right person, at the right time, can influence an outcome. And, it’s not my fault if America is always going to war whilst demanding blood sacrifices from Australia.

    The cost of these refugees to the Australian government-read the tax payer-is staggering. Add to that the billions of dollars paid to Saddam Hussein by the Australian Wheat Board, and we are being bled white-so called to pacify the red-neck vote….

    The whole thing is unconscionable. Nor does it make any sense. It would be much cheaper to do something at the beginning of the problem.

    It is all such a revolutionary mind set for Oz to come up with something different to the perceived wisdom of American thinking.

    I came up with an original idea. After all, silly me, I always thought prevention to be preferable than curing.

  67. Venise Alstergren

    MARILYN SHEPHERD: It would seem you wish to revel in your chosen subject matter to the extent of reading, inaccurately, whatever someone else says.

    Please, find me one comment where I have ever suggested refugees should be treated in the manner to which they are subjected to under any form of Labor or Coalition government.

    Till then honey, shut your yarp.

  68. GeeWizz

    Iggy under the U.N refugee convention someone coming to our country without permission.

    Under Australian immigration legislation introduced by Hawke and Keating persons arriving without a valid visa are deemed “unlawful non-citizens”.

    Abbott and Morrison pointed out that out in todays press conference. Why do the lefties and Labor supporters want to use weasel words?

    This is why only a Coalition Government can stop the boats they aren’t about niceties, they are about getting a job DONE.

  69. Venise Alstergren

    GEEWIZZ: You are so right. Why don’t we treat refugees in exactly the same manner as we allow foreigners to treat the animals in our live export trade?

  70. Chris Sanderson

    Well done Bernard! Spot on analysis. Thank God there’s someone left who isn’t afraid not to be politically correct and can name the reality as it is. If it wasn’t for you I probably wouldn’t still be reading Crikey.

  71. Christopher Nagle

    One of the irritating features of current discourse is the inability to tell the difference between cruelty/abuse and toughness. We have in effect delegitimized any sort of robust and assertive use of power that causes ‘suffering’, or even discomfort. In fact, in the consumer society generally, we have become so comfort driven, any sort of discomfort has become ‘suffering’.

    Military tent life in the wet season is taxing and uncomfortable. But to call it ‘cruel’ is either sloppy use of the language or indicating a very low tolerance for adversity.

    May I point out that large slabs of the world’s population live in very basic accommodation in quite severe heat with no air conditioning…..gasp!

  72. Achmed

    ‘Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of sh*t by the clean end

  73. iggy648

    “Daddy says it’s alright to use the bad word, so I’m gonna! Nyah nyah!” While I expect this from our resident xenophobes, what on earth could be the value in Tony Abbott resorting to demonising asylum seekers? Is he starting to soften up us plebs for something even worse to come?

  74. Achmed

    Labor have now gone so far to the right oon asylum seekers Abbott will have to start moving left

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