Assylum Seekers

Asylum Seekers are not barging in they simply want freedom and a fair go

  Since 1901 and the introduction of the White Australian Policy, the Australian Government has looked to protect its shores. But when the yearly cost of keeping a single asylum seeker in detention reaches $90,000 each, it is important to question whether this huge expenditure is worth it. Angus Dobrenov reports.

  The issue of asylum seekers, or more specifically ‘boat people’, coming to Australia has been on the political radar since the Vietnam War ended and Malcolm Fraser allowed Indo-Chinese immigration in 1979.

  There have been numerous examples of successful Indo-Chinese asylum seekers such as television stars Toan Vo and Ahn Do who have established successful careers here in Australia.   These people have clearly shown that they can successfully contribute to Australian society.

  Boat People are not illegal. Article 14 of the Universal Declarations of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries.” These people undertake dangerous journeys seeking freedom only to be imprisoned on an island off shore.  

  The Vo family, who left Rach Gia in 1977, underwent a terrifying journey on their way to Pilau Bisa in Malaysia. 17 people from the boat drowned one of who was Toan Vo.  

  Toan recalled the horrifying journey saying, “the conditions were cramped and terrible, my Aunt Mai was taken by pirates and our Captain Tan was shot.”   Adding to this he outlined the frustration of being placed in mandatory detention upon arrival in Malaysia.

  The Australian Government’s policy on mandatory detention centres puts refugees on islands away from major populations.   Examples include Christmas Island and Naru.

  Phuong Vo spoke of a fire on Pulau Bisa, a processing centre for refugees and how one of the ruling gang members, Cang died trying to save her. “When I could smell smoke I realised there was a fire and   started screaming.”...