Shifting the Focus: From People Smugglers to Protection

2009 - Volume 12 Number 3

The Australian government has recently stepped up its effort to form partnerships with regional neighbours to tackle people smuggling, which it identifies as the primary focus of its asylum seeker policy.

This focus detracts attention from the people most affected by this new strategy, those seeking asylum in Australia. As refugee lawyer David Manne has said, “There’s a disproportionate emphasis on protection of our extraterritorial borders to the serious expense of protection of people [in Australia]” 

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