Temporary Protection Visas for Refugees

It is disturbing to see that the Liberal Party is giving consideration to supporting the reintroduction of on Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) for refugees.  The TPV was one of the most punishing, least effective and most counter-productive measures of the former government’s aimed at reducing the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat. It had the opposite effect. Bringing them back would not help anybody – here or elsewhere.  More details here.

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19 Comments

  1. Andrew, I have ventured the opinion at Peter Mares’ article that the essential matter is the safety of women and children, as you have made the case here. I believe the adult men on an unauthorised vessel could be treated very differently from women and children, that is, held responsible legally and with a strong moral dimension.

  2. No, it doesn’t sound like a good idea from any perspective – some people not knowing if they are staying or leaving – and also the possibility of dangerous idiots being let loose in our midst.

    The government should keep them in a detention centre until they have been fully evaluated, and then decide whether to kick them out or keep them.

    If they’re from the Middle East or Sri Lanka, we could continue to get the better cultural end of the deal by swapping the USA for more Cubans.

  3. Trevor – could you spell that out more clearly? IF people prove their case and are entitled to our protection, why and how would you treat men differently from women?

  4. Yes, Trevor, why treat men differently than women? We boast in this country of the importance of family; of belonging to a family – except of course if you’re a traumatized, persecuted person from Iraq or Afghanistan or ?Then, you’re treated as an “unperson”, subjected to even more trauma until you’re driven medically mad for almost 7 yrs(Peter Qasim – SA) and then, perhaps, you’re eventually allowed into the community – a broken and permanently damaged soul. I find that repugnant! No matter who it happens to!

    I have a good friend who offers a home, food, clothes, warmth,affection, a place to study etc to those people who’ve been released from detention. She has shared with me the trauma of being on a TPV. No medical cover, no money from Centelink, not allowed to work or go to TAFE etc. This could last for 3 years and upwards. How are these people supposed to live? Unless they had family members in the country, they had to rely on charity, or starve. Those organizations who spoke out against the Howard policies had their funding reduced or cut altogether. My friend covered the costs of caring for these people – usually unaccompanied young men;often, educated and qualified but required further qualifications here, or just weren’t allowed to work. They are a joy and a delight to meet, and once on their feet, you can see them stand taller – they still keep in touch with her, even if they eventually have to leave. TPVs only made their past traumas worse!

    Australia is a signatory to the UN Declaration on Human Rights – therefore we have given an undertaking re the dignity and rights of every human being in this country/world. Malcolm Turnbull remained silent during the Howard years; the Opposition participated in and agreed with the law changes; didn’t speak out at the time, but now, for opportunistic reasons, he wants to drag out the ugly racist card. It was members of his own party who challenged the cruel Howard policies a couple of years ago! Slow learner

  5. Naomi Cartledge .
    you seem to be making a few statments without thinking or seeking more facts. or reading peoples comments correctly.
    i will not lower to you level calling you names because im better than that .
    only those of us who know they are wrong or short of a few facts resort to quoting statistics and calling ppl slow learners
    its no better than someone calling another person a racist when one cant get ones own way.
    as far as TPVs go i would have to agree with andrew
    but there seems that no one has a better idea or solution they wish to put forward .
    so lets hear it naomi whats your solution.

    love red : -)

  6. Ladies:

    I think the point Andrew was trying to make was that TPVs precluded a man coming here on his own from being reunited with his family.

    Most men probably wouldn’t want their wives and children embarking on a “leaky boat” journey, so the TPV has only added further risk to the equation.

    I think both Trevor and Andrew were showing interest in the protection of women and children – not any kind of discrimination.

  7. REDCRAB – The person I was referring to as a “slow learner” was Turnbull! The fact is, that Sharmon Stone and other Liberals were on the committee that eventually AGREED to change the harsh laws – or at least some of them. None of them disagreed at the time; but as soon as there’s an opportunity to try and grab some traction on the ‘race card’, they conveniently forget that 1) they agreed to the changes, and 2) they forget what happened when they tried the racist card last time. When people became aware of the FACTS, coupled with some very public examples of the Howard Govt’s shameful bungles or practices, the public have rightly demanded at least some forms of justice.

    It hasn’t been widely reported, but people from both the Brisbane Immigration Office and the one in Canberra, knew that Vivien Solon was an Australian citizen – they were told by CentreLink! They still transported that woman, who was in intractable pain to the Philipines – to rot and die! Cornelia Rau was roughed up and taken by male ambulance officers to hospital without her clothes. I read about it, and I’ve since seen it on a documentary! I know how they behaved, and how Turnbull and Bishop have been campaigning we go back to!Over 95% of asylum seekers come by plane, and are treated in a different manner to ‘boat people’ and can also access legal channels, as airports are on Australian soil! If we refused to bomb these countries, render them destroyed, citizens murdered, we wouldn’t have such a problem. Over 1 million dead in Iraq and maybe the same in Afghanistan! We contributed to the urgent NEED for them to escape. THEN, we judge and torture them when they land here. It disgusts me! We did the same in Vietnam, and the response by Australians was similar!

  8. point taken naomi but i still would not call anyone a slow learner been called that myself .
    typical politition mabe.
    i wont comment on anything iv seen on tv or read in the paper as iv had first hand experience how they twist the truth.
    racist card i find it hard to swallow that statement .
    i played a game of cards a couple of weeks ago with a mix of different people we were all called racists by a vietnamies person because he lost a hand of cards .that and other incidents like that is why the word racist dosent mean much any more to me.

  9. Red Crab:

    I have found that most of those who are called “slow learners” are generally ahead – sometimes up to 30 years ahead!

    I agree that people often get called racists over the most trivial issues. Many of them have nothing to do with racism at all.

    I have previously been labelled a racist on this blog. Once I was on the receiving end of “guilt by association”.

  10. redcrab – I used the word out of disgust and frustration re Malcolm Turnbull’s convenient amnesia of the horror, tragedy, denigration and cruelty dealt to already traumatized people – the overwhelming majority (upwards of 90%) who were finally recognised as being asylum seekers. Some of these people were so badly damaged by Howard’s bunch of cruel thugs, both in the govt, Immigration Dept and detention centres, that their prognosis is conditional on ongoing Psyciattric and/or Psychological monitoring and/or treatment. That’s what motivated me to use that term. It’s not a term that I use normally, I can assure you! I can think of many children’s terrible stories that will probably render them to always having some learning difficulties – I believe what Howard did should be classified as child abuse, and he should’ve been charged under International Law – crimes of cruelty, neglect and isolation of minors. Incidently, I don’t rely on TV or newspapers for my information. I read biographies, essays, articles that people like Andrew write; Chilout, Australians for Refugees; Amnesty International,articles/interviews by Julian Burnside and others;most of the books I’ve mentioned on this or other sites I borrowed from my local library. I keep track of legislation, read newspapers around the world each day;I avoid all Murdoch papers, and have mostly contempt for the commercial channels news and current affairs programs.

    Using language in a negative manner that relates to a person’s race, culture and associate elements is racist. Losing at cards is not racist-it would be if the winner stated that he/she lost because of their race. It’s pretty straight forward really. I understand what you’re saying; it’s like Israel screaming anti-semetic any time somebody accuses them of war crimes against Palestinians, or using too much force or??I’ve often been accused of not having a sense of humour, because I don’t find racist, sexist or ageist jokes funny

  11. Reproduced here http://webdiary.com.au/cms/?q=node/2911 is Petro Georgiou’s speech on billing asylum seekers for their incarceration. I am glad to say that not all on his side of the house are heartless fiends, and let’s not forget that Labor introduced that wicked scheme of mandatory detention. As PG says .. we are all complicit in what happens/happened becuase of it, not because we sat in Parliament House and voted for it, but because we didn’t march and write letters about. I marched against the war in Iraq, and would do so again, but am ashamed to say that I didn’t really understand the implications of Mandatory detention when it was introduced. I took no action, and am therefore partly responsible. I won’t let them do that to me again.

  12. DOLPHINS – Good for you! I’ve been involved in this issue since 2001, and I congratulate the stand taken by the 4 members of the Coalition. I was reduced to tears by the speeches in Parliament. Sharmon Stone and Turnbull should hang their heads in shame. As Senator Chris Evans pointed out, it was the Coalition members on the Committee who moved that the Migration Act be amended(re having to pay back up to several hundreds of thousands for ‘board & lodging’)

    A friend of mine is actively involved with people on TPV’s, mostly young men, and I’ve learnt so much from her – I was constantly appalled at the unnecessary cruelty; the waste of money, the ignoring their mental and physical health, and acts of pure bastardry – just because they(detention ‘workers’ Immigration Dept etc) could. It’s at best an abuse of power. I think they should be charged under International Law.

  13. just happend to be looking for something new and read your comments .
    i would like to ask just one thing do you know the definition of a refugee
    as stated buy the united nations.
    with respect may i suggest that the heading of this particular blog should be named
    ” tempory protection visas for asylum seekers.”

    Naomi Cartledge
    do you suggest that ( our laws ) are not good enough what proof do you have of what you are implying .
    i know ppl who have come here as immigrents just last year and what they have to pay and go through would astound you .
    after talking to them and hearing of others like them (.with this first hand imfomation.)
    iv come to the opinion that most ppl who are or were on protection visas
    dont realy have to much to complane about.

  14. Red Crab:

    The formal definition of a refugee under the relevant UN Convention (and under Australia’s Migration Act) is a person who,

    “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themself of the protection of that country.”

    And Australia did not give Temporary Protection Visas to asylum seekers – the visas were not issues until and unless the person’s application for asylum had been assessed and verified.

  15. RED CRAB – I think you should read some more information about the different protections asylum seekers could receive, and what, how and why those on TEMPORARY protection visas couldn’t work, couldn’t study, weren’t entitled to Centrelink payments, and how you believe they should survive? They also weren’t entitled to be covered by Medicare, so how did they seek medical intervention for any physical, psychiatric or psychological problems. If they didn’t have friends or family here, how did you think they survived?

    Many came here with injuries, physical, mental or both as a result of their treatment in their own country – physical injuries, some affecting their daily lives, and the emotional scars that some will have for life – particularly after our treatment in detention for up to 7 yrs. I believe the crime of kidnapping carries that penalty – these people didn’t commit any crime? 7 yrs jail for no crime! I think they have a lot to complain about! We were shamed by the horrific suffering caused by the Howard govt, and to a lesser degree, the Labor govt before them. They started this – it’s only right that they stop it now!

  16. i give up .why dont we let anyone that wishes come here.
    i only get conserned with what i see is happening in our community.
    and worry about the future of our children.
    history always repeats its the human nature.

  17. Red Crab:

    “Why don’t we let anyone that wishes come here?”

    Don’t worry, Red Crab, we already do. The place is so overflowing with migrants that housing prices and rents are extremely exorbitant. In Queensland alone, we now have 27,000 people living on the streets, along with rising unemployment.

  18. Many came here with injuries, physical, mental or both as a result of their treatment in their

    own country

    physical injuries, some affecting their daily lives, and the emotional scars that some will have for life I think they have a lot to complain about!
    We were shamed by the horrific suffering caused

    as a result of their treatment in their

    own country

    how did you think they survived

    crime!

    iv used only the words in Naomi Cartledge s comment to show how the writen word can be twisted.

    in no way do,s it reflect my opinion on protection visas or refugees.

  19. lorikeet – Unless you’re an indigenous person, then you’re a migrant or a descendant of a migrant. In comparison to other countries, we’ve had a miniscule of people arriving here seeking asylum. We signed the international treaties on human rights, and we must abide by them or publicly announce to the world that we’re removing ourselves.

    If we stir up trouble in other countries, or support those that do, then we shouldn’t belly ache when, through oppression and despair those whose lives are at risk, leave – and end up here! If you’re so concerned about the ‘migrants’ overtaking the country, gather up the descendants of your ancestors and go back there! Simple!

    red crab – Go back and read your comments re refugees!
    Start with this comment! “iv come to the opinion that most ppl who are or were on protection visas
    dont realy have to much to complane about.”

    I beg to differ!

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