Persuasive Essay On Refugees In Australia

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Introduction

Australia is a ‘receiving’ country and bears the responsibility as an international citizen to take in asylum seekers. The Parliament of Australia defines asylum-seekers as “individuals who have sought international protection and whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined. Those covered [by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)] refer to claimants whose individual applications are pending, irrespective of when they may have been lodged.” This differs from Australian Parliament’s definition of refugees. Asylum seekers have to be processed, and it must be determined if they are ‘genuine refugees.’

Asylum seekers in Australia, also known as ‘boat people’ or ‘irregular maritime arrivals,’
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The asylum seeker issue filled the news again, as the numbers started to increase dramatically. Those who supported open borders towards the asylum seekers did so for humanitarian reasons and because Australia’s hardline policies were giving Australia a negative image overseas. From the early 2000s, there has been significant public concern and an extreme support for a hardline stance on boat arrivals. This has consequently limited alternative policies, and this is what helped John Howard get re-elected in 2001 and 2004. According to McDonald’s article, “half those surveyed indicating that they [the issues of asylum and immigration] were extremely important to their voting considerations, outranked only by health and education as policy …show more content…
The Tampa was not allowed entry into Australia by the Howard government. However, the Tampa entered Australian waters anyway and was boarded by the Special Air Service. The asylum seekers were then transferred to the Pacific Island of Nauru. This is when the government introduced the ‘Pacific Solution,’ under which asylum seekers were sent to Nauru rather than allowed into Australia to be processed and considered for refugee status.

John Howard made a pledge regarding the determination of who was to be allowed to come to Australia and under what circumstances. This became known as the ‘Pacific Solution.’ From 1991 to 2001, over 11,999 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat. From 2002 to 2008, fewer than 300 people arrived. However, this policy raised much controversy when human rights activists and the United Nations criticized this policy as a human rights violation. Because of this, Australia gained a reputation as a promoter of inhumane border and asylum policies. This was damaging to Australia’s reputation

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