Misstatement: "Boat people are illegal immigrants...or economic migrants…or queue jumpers."
People move to make life better for themselves and their families. People have been coming to Australia for over 200 years for the promise of a better life.
And if you were a Rohingya in Myanmar or living in Syria at the moment, what would you do?
If any one of us feared for our life, or for our family we’d like to know that others would help us to safety. Throughout history, people have risked everything for the hope of a better life. We must ensure people’s basic right to live free from danger.
Unfortunately, there is no single orderly refugee registration and settlement program. There is no queue. People flee persecution, terror and war and stop when they find a safe haven.
There is no standard refugee process where people wait in line to have their applications considered. Few countries between the Middle East and Australia are signatories to the 1951 Refugee Convention, and as such people seeking asylum are forced to continue to travel to another country to find protection.
Only a very small proportion of people seeking asylum are registered with the United Nations High Commission for refugees and only about one per cent of those people who meet the resettlement criteria are subsequently resettled. The vast majority of people seeking asylum and refugees are hosted in developing countries.
By creating a fair and efficient asylum process we can show that, when people are in harm’s way, we’ll do the right thing by examining each person’s refugee claim in a safe space.
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