A possie in Aussie

June 30, 2009

Up to 10,000 asylum seekers expected to head to Australia

A  massive influx of up to 10,000 refugees is expected to head to Australia, Indonesian authorities have warned. 10,000 Indonesian refugees eyeing Australia

About 1,500 asylum seekers have already arrived in Indonesia from Malaysia by boat this year and registered for refugee status, while the same number again are believed to have arrived and not registered, Fairfax newspapers report.

While the federal opposition blames changes to asylum seeker policy for the increase, Dr Roslyn Richardson of Charles Sturt University, said asylum seekers know little about Australia before their arrival here.

Dr Richardson said strong deterrent messages from Australia did not cut through.

In her study, the reasons 27 refugees gave for coming to Australia centred on its comparative cheapness and accessibility. Asylum seekers knew little of Australia, let alone its immigration policies.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the key to reducing the number of people coming here is to help improve living conditions in poorer countries. It has released a new report recommending that Australia expand its aid program in the Asia-Pacific region and do more to try to slow population growth in countries like East Timor and Papua New Guinea. Warning on wave of boat people

A report released by the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner earlier this month showed a 28 per cent increase in the number of people seeking asylum globally over the last year. The same report found that, at the end of last year, there were 42 million people worldwide forcibly uprooted from their homeland by conflicts. But the number has already grown substantially since the beginning of this year with more large displacements in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Somalia totaling well over 2.3 million people.

“The global economic crisis, gaping disparities between North and South, growing xenophobia, climate change, the relentless outbreak of new conflicts and the intractability of old ones all threaten to exacerbate this already massive displacement problem”.

Increased numbers of asylum seekers are not only making news in Australia: the Norway Post reports that

“The number of asylum seekers arriving in Norway is again on the increase. In the first five months of this year 6595 persons applied for asylum, compared with 4324 in the same period last year. In May alone, 1490 applications for asylum were registered, according to the Immigration Directorate. This compares with 996 applications in May last year. Increased number of asylum seekers

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