The Australian parliament supports migrant reforms

Currently Australia detains every asylum seekers arriving by boat, and holds them in several processing camps offshore.

The bill stipulates that those who are found to be genuine refugees are not going to be resettled permanently in Australia, under harsh new migration policies targeting at terminating the boats flow.

The country in addition has got a cases backlog of nearly 30,000, all relating to seekers asylum seekers who had arrived ahead of the current policies being put into effect. Most of such persons are living in detention camps offshore or within the community covered by a bridging visa which does not let seek employment.

In order to gain sufficient support in the parliament to have the bill passed, the government had to make concessions. Under this, children in detention on Christmas Island will get released. This is an offshore detention camp whose conditions have come under severe criticisms.

The figure of verified refugees that the country will accent to accommodate goes up by 7,500, from the existing level of 13,750, by the year 2018. Those asylum seekers who are on bridging visas now get permitted to work whilst their refugee status claims are processed.

The bill got narrow senate approval following intense debate and was subsequently passed by the MPs into law in the House of Representatives where the government maintains a majority.

Temporary visas had been introduced originally under the former PM John Howard although they had been criticized by the UN and rights groups for not meeting Australia’s international obligations as a UN Refugee Conventions signatory.

Although refugees in Australia may work and live for a temporary period, the government could deport them back to their home country later if it thinks the conditions have since improved.

Serious concern

Human rights advocates plus other experts previously have voiced their grave concerns in relation to the consequences of life in halfway houses in some very cramped detention like conditions on young people of all ages.

However refugee proponents and advocates have indicated the new move was a crushing blow for those asylum seekers who may be facing the severe risk of getting returned back to danger.



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