A possie in Aussie

March 1, 2010

What really deters asylum claims: a REAL change of government

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people — Nayano @ 7:39 am
Tags: , ,

Last week the UK Daily Mail published an investigative piece called From Kabul to an M1 service station via a dinghy: the Afghans dying to get into Britain

It is well worth reading in its entirety, but a few sections in particular shed some light on what is happening with the boats arriving from Indonesia into Australia.

“There has been a surge of Afghans arriving in Britain.”

In the Australian recently Glenn Milne said:

“Kevin Rudd’s claim that the spike in asylum-seekers arriving illegally in Australia is a shared global problem due to international “push” factors has been contradicted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ own figures.

Milne says that UNHCR  figures show that asylum claims rose by only 5 per cent globally in the nine months to September last year, but in Australia they increased by more than 25 per cent. Ergo: Rudd has opened the door and put out the welcome mat. Global asylum claims drop as Australia’s rises

But the same UNHCR figures show that claims by Afghan asylum seekers rose by a third over the same period – and Afghans form the bulk of Australia’s claims from people who arrive undocumented. (China is the source country for asylum claims from people who have arrived by plane i.e., ‘documented’.)

To illustrate the point that total figures don’t mean much locally, Bernard Keane says that globally there has been a 20% rise in Serbian refugees last year to more than 18,000, but we cut Serbian arrivals by 100%.   Lies, damned lies and asylum seeker statistics)

Which raises the question of why Australia is receiving Afghans. They are a long way from home, further than Serbia for example, and face a life threatening sea journey to get here.

Is it that the journey is easier than that to the UK?  The Daily Mail article notes:

“They’re prepared to hand over their life savings and take huge risks to journey to Europe, where they hope to apply for asylum.

“They take the route from their homes in Afghanistan to Iran, Turkey and Greece, then up through Italy and France to the ultimate goal for so many – the UK. This is no simple, two-week dash across Asia and into Europe. Most of those who set out never reach the UK, and journeys can take months or even years. Along the way, the immigrants are fleeced by traffickers and risk beatings and imprisonment by border guards. Many die trying. After paying up to $15,000 to the smugglers. Mostly raised by families selling up their assets, or going into crippling debt.

Does sound worse than the Australian route.

But one of the very biggest drawcards for asylum seekers is the liberal and democratic nature of their destinations. The Mail quotes an Afghan:

‘No, we will pay for this journey. The UK is a good place. People have a good life there,’ he says.

Australia is known world-wide for its safety, democracy and easy lifestyle. Temporary Protection Visas didn’t deter the boats. (See Andrew Bolt supports the claim that Howard lured boat people to Australia) Perhaps we should get rid of Rudd and install a corrupt dictator? That would have a deterrent effect.

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