Unlawful Non Citizen Case Study

1624 Words 7 Pages
Clearly define your specific ethical question.
Should the Australian Government keep ‘unlawful non-citizen’ children in mandatory detention for processing?

Provide a brief background discussion of your chosen ethical question that explains why it is important and in need of analysis.
An ‘unlawful non-citizen’ is the term used by the Australian Government to describe any persons attempting to enter Australia without a valid immigration visa (Department of Immigration and Border Protection 2015). Under Australia's Migration Act 1958, unlawful non-citizens are to be transferred to immigration detention centres to determine identity, health status and visa eligibility (Department of Immigration and Border Protection 2015). The Department
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Analyse the ethical question using act utilitarianism.
The ethical theory of act utilitarianism focuses on the process of forecasting both positive (rise in net utility) and negative (fall in net utility) consequences from the facts and assumptions of an ethical act. If an act maximises net utility for the greatest number, then it is deemed ethical under this theory – the end justifies the means (Cunningham & Lamberton 2015).

Forecast of positive consequences:
2,184 ‘unlawful non-citizen’ children travelled to Australia between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2003 (Australian Human Rights Commission 2004). The population of Australia at 30 June 2003 was 19.9 billion people (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006). Therefore, by keeping 2,184 ‘unlawful non-citizen’ children in mandatory detention for screening, the Australian Government reduced the potential health and security risks to 19.9 billion
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Australian Human Rights Commission, 2004, A last resort? National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention?.=, viewed 07 March 2015, .

Cunningham, R & Lamberton, G 2015, Applied Ethics and Sustainability Study Guide, 7th Edition, PDF document, Southern Cross University, viewed 13 March 2015, .

Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2004, Government committed to detention regime, viewed 07 March 2015, .

Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2015, About immigration detention, viewed 12 March 2015, .

Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 2015, Fact sheet 82 - Immigration detention, viewed 12 March 2015, .

Department of Parliamentary Services, 2013, Immigration detention in Australia, viewed 12 March 2015, .

Hammerton, C Children's rights and mandatory detention [online]. Every Child, vol. 21, no. 1, 2015: 18-19. Availability at: ISSN: 1322-0659. [cited 08 Mar 15].

Occupational Therapy Australia, 2014, National Inquiry into Children in Detention, 2014, viewed 10 March 2015, .

Parliament of Australia, 2004, HREOC Inquiry into Children in Immigration Report tabled, viewed 10 March 2015,

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