Mandatory Detention In Australia

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Every year, millions of people are displaced as a result of war and ethnic or religious persecution. The Australian Government unjustly discriminates against refugees and asylum seekers who arrive by boat (‘unauthorised maritime arrivals’), causing a stained reputation in the international community. The mandatory and indefinite detention of children violates international law by breaching numerous agreements. This essay will discuss why mandatory detention was introduced in Australia, the divergent stakeholder responses to mandatory detention of children, how equitable current legislation is, and will compare Australia’s migration policies with other nation and offer recommendations to the law. Australia’s policy of mandatory detention…show more content…
Stakeholders who support mandatory detention include; the present Australian government, as it enforces the policy of mandatory detention; and some Australian citizens, for various reasons, such as that they believe ‘boat people’ should go through the proper process, a lack of sympathy or understanding of the situation of these asylum seekers and refugees, or even xenophobia and racism. Those against mandatory detention include international human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations, who have repeatedly called for an end to mandatory detention, as it infringes on international laws such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; asylum seekers and refugees, who have come to Australia typically as a result of persecution, and are then being discriminated against by the Australian government; and some Australian citizens, who argue that mandatory detention is costly, ineffective and unethical. This is backed up by the fact that the annual cost of maintaining offshore detention centres has surpassed $1 billion (Whyte, 2015), and that boat arrivals have actually increased from previous years (Phillips & Spinks, 2013). Despite the unethicalness of Australia’s mandatory detention policy, it continues to be supported by some…show more content…
Firstly, the Migration Act 1958 should be amended so that children and parents may only be detained for a limited time, when necessary to conduct health, identity and security checks. As well, detention centres in and outside of Australia should be used only to conduct the checks mentioned above; no one should be detained unless it is necessary. Also, bridging visas should be granted to parents with children, so that they are not adversely affected by the conditions of the detention centres and that their child or children are given the necessary support as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These are just some of the recommendations which would assist in making Australia’s migration policies abide by international

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