Monday, August 16, 2010

Asylum Seekers

This is interesting. I was doing some internet research on boat people last night and then found this posted on Simone's blog.

The people on the boats (as opposed to the people smugglers who illegally put them into the boats) deserve our compassion.

Who to vote for on Saturday remains the question...


Chris said...

My theory, for those who wish to hear it.

Back in the 80s, we viewed drug addicts as dangerous scum, who would break into your house and steal your VCR to pay for their addiction.

Now public policy (if not all members of the community's private opinions) is that drug addicts are victims and require assistance, compassion and support. This translates into needle exchange programmes (possibly the most successful public health initiative in Australia), methadone programmes, injecting rooms, etc. And anyone who speaks out against this finds themselves lynched in the press (although possibly not on talk back radio). Drug dealers though are another kettle of fish and we can have zero tolerance on drug dealers, whilst looking at addicts with sympathy.

We should have the same with boat people. Most are genuine refugees, and they are not in big numbers. We should look at them as victims worthy of compassion as well. When they come here, they certainly should be treated with dignity, and have their claims processed in an efficient manner. In the mean time they should be kept in a secure area (I think) but it doesn't have to be a terrible place- they are not here for punishment. Lets have a zero tolerance on the people smugglers, lets look to invest in reducing the persecution in their home countries and provide support to the refugee camps other countries (because they don't often come directly from the their county of origin). This may help reduce the impetus for these folks to risk their lives in an unseaworthy boat. But if they do come here, lets look after them like people in need of our help, rather than criminals.

Karen said...

I think you need to get your own blog and stand on your soapbox there.
However, thanks for further developing the thought.

Chris said...

Having my own blog sounds like to much work. Instead I'll just come onto yours occasionally and try and steal the limelight.