A possie in Aussie

July 1, 2009

If there’s 10,000 by boat, how many by plane? The asylum seeker ‘crisis’

10,000 asylum seekers by boat? Let alone the plane people!

The opposition keeps telling the Rudd government to take the situation seriously, so here goes:

The temporary protection visa and other punitive measures have been proven to be ineffective – as well as horrific.

Germany experienced a sudden drop in asylum seekers when the Schengen agreement introduced regulations about ‘third country’ applications, meaning that asylum seekers who had already arrived in a country of asylum could, ipso facto, be refused asylum in another.

Since airports in Schengen countries turn around asylum seekers before they officially ‘arrive’ (that is, leave the airport transit zone). Arriving by road in Germany necessarily means traversing a ‘safe asylum country’, making this measure extremely effective for the Germans.

Perhaps we should erect fences in the sea?

Let alone controlling numbers of boats – what about

The UN keeps telling us that the only effective measures will be to reduce the causes of asylum flows – but that is certainly easier said than done.

Robert Skidelsky is a member of the British House of Lords, is professor emeritus of political economy at Warwick University, author of a prizewinning biography of the economist John Maynard Keynes, and a board member of the Moscow School of Political Studies.

In an article on how to tackle the numbers of refugees from Africa, he says

“With refugees spilling over borders, pirates hijacking ships, and terrorists finding shelter, it is clear that, although Africa’s solutions are its own, its problems are not. The rest of the world can no longer afford Africa’s poverty”, and suggests:

For nations in civil war, military intervention, when feasible, to secure peace

Ongoing international assistance should be limited to providing voluntary good-governance templates

Governments should make public spending transparent

Foreign resource-extracting companies should report their profits would make yardstick comparisons easier for local political activists, as well as providing a source of legitimacy for the government.

Formalising the huge informal economy in states such as Ghana.

The Kimberly Process is a pilot project. Diamond companies volunteer not to buy from conflict areas in an attempt to prevent diamonds from funding warlords. This would be good for business, as affluent Western customers are now put off by the thought of buying blood-soaked jewellery.”

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