Amnesty International has discovered in its human rights report 2015 that Australia is among 30 of those countries that are illegally forcing “refugees to return to countries where they would be in danger.”
The Australian High Court has recently declared the nation’s decision of sending 267 asylum seekers to Nauru detention centres as legal. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended his position by saying that the authorities want the nation to have secure borders. “Our commitment today is simply this: the people smugglers will not prevail over our sovereignty. Our borders are secure. The line has to be drawn somewhere and it is drawn at our border,” he said as quoted by BBC.
Australia stuck to the decision in spite of knowing about the harsh living conditions, violence, and abuses reported at the Nauru detention camps. In the report, it has been depicted that the nation’s boat “turnbacks” policy has inspired other nations to follow the same rule of compelling asylum seekers to leave respective nations.
According to The Guardian, helping refugees to move out of the conflict zones grabbed global attention in Middle East and Africa though Europe, but at the same time forced movement of refugees across southeast Asia was recorded as a vital rights abuses issue in the region.
“People smuggling and human trafficking in the Bay of Bengal exposed thousands of refugees and migrants to serious abuse on board boats. Some people were shot on the boats, thrown overboard and left to drown, or died from starvation, dehydration or disease,” the report said. “People were beaten, sometimes for hours, for moving, begging for food or asking to use the toilet.”
Amnesty’s global issues Deputy Director Sherif Elsayed Ali told AAP that the nation’s refugee policies was “shameful” and “one of the worst in the world.” He also asked for an investigation into payments made to the asylum seekers boats’ crew members under the push-back policy conditions.
In addition, the SBS reported that Amnesty International has also called for federal the government’s justification on legal amendment made to refugee policies on national security grounds.