The Jewish Community and Asylum Seekers – Have Your Say

August 14, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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The ECAJ has had a policy on refugees and asylum seekers since 2009.  It is looking at updating it to take into account the government’s new PNG/Nauru policy.

For the first time ever, The Executive Council of Australian Jewry is canvassing the viewpoints of the community. Executive Director Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: ”

Australia’s recently announced resettlement arrangements with PNG and Nauru are of major significance to all Australians, and have generated much comment, including from within the Jewish community.  The new arrangements will necessitate a change in the ECAJ’s existing policy on refugees and asylum seekers.  Sadly, after years of public discussion there is still no sign of an emerging consensus on this issue in Australia or in our community, despite the government providing additional information and making further announcements since the initial announcement a few weeks ago.   There are competing moral considerations. It is not black and white.  In the circumstances the ECAJ felt it appropriate to lead the way with a draft change to our policy outlining what we consider, after lengthy debate, to be the major applicable principles, and to invite members of the community to comment on it and have their say before we make a final decision.  We have only recently built up the staff and resources to manage such a process properly.”

 

The ECAJ is sending the following statement to the community….

migrants-400The ECAJ obviously cannot simply announce that it has made a policy change unless it has debated and approved the change internally.  The item is on the agenda for the ECAJ’s Committee of Management meeting on August 27.  If there is agreement by the Committee of Management, the policy change could be adopted in advance of the meeting.

Since the Government first announced the new resettlement arrangements with PNG, much more has been published about the way the policy will operate.  It has also since become clear that the proposition that certain refugees will “never” be resettled in Australia is not accurate.  Persons who are found to be refugees and who are resettled in PNG or Nauru can still apply to come to Australia as regular migrants, including by way of other components of Australia’s humanitarian program. In addition, a further resettlement agreement with Nauru was announced on 3 August 2013.

A draft resolution to amend the ECAJ’s existing policy on refugees and asylum seekers has now been prepared and circulated to the ECAJ’s Committee of Management.  The text appears below.  The existing policy can be accessed at http://www.ecaj.org.au/policy-platform/ (Item 7).  Government publications concerning the PNG Agreement (x3) and Nauru Agreement, and a Refugee Policy Review Background Paper prepared by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies can be accessed at the ECAJ website: http://www.ecaj.org.au but all are presented on this page by J-Wire.

Members of the community are invited to comment on the draft resolution via the ECAJ FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/ECAJewry or by Twitter https://twitter.com/ECAJewry or by email info@ecaj.org.au.

Comment will be open for 1 week only from 5:00pm on August 14 to 5:00pm on August 21. Any comment which is abusive in any way (including racist or defamatory comment) will be deleted.

The ECAJ will not regard comments we receive as a de facto poll, and numbers of people expressing a particular viewpoint will not be considered in any way to be reflective of the level of community support for that viewpoint.  We are seeking considered, evidence-based comment that the ECAJ Committee of Management can take into account.  The final decision on ECAJ policy will be made by the Committee of Management.

Proposed amendment to ECAJ Policy – Refugees and Asylum seekers

THAT the ECAJ’s Policy concerning “Refugees and Asylum Seekers” be amended by:

1.    deleting paragraph 7.2;
2.    deleting from paragraph 7.9 the words “which are unhelpful and can be misleading and unfair”, and substituting the words “and preferably without partisanship”; and
3.    adopting the following additional policy to be entitled “Refugees and Asylum Seekers – Regional Resettlement Arrangements”.

7A.    REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS – REGIONAL RESETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENTS

This Council:
7A.1     NOTES THAT:
a.    Australia signed a  Regional Resettlement Arrangement with Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 19 July 2013  and on 3 August 2013 a memorandum of understanding for refugee processing and resettlement  was also signed with the Republic of Nauru (the PNG and Nauru Arrangements);
b.    the Australian Government’s announced policy to the effect that every asylum seeker (without any exceptions whatever, even for pregnant women or unaccompanied children with family already in Australia) arriving after that policy announcement on an unauthorised boat, without a visa will:
•    be sent to the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre for assessment by PNG or to Nauru;
•    if found to be a refugee, be settled in PNG, or another participating regional state, but  not in Australia;
•    if found not to be a refugee, be returned to a home or other country of residence or detained in PNG;
c.    notwithstanding Prime Minister Rudd’s statements that asylum seekers arriving unauthorised by boats will “never” be resettled in Australia and the Government’s advertising campaign to the same effect, the new policy expressly provides that a person found to be a refugee and resettled in PNG, Nauru or another participating regional state,  may then apply to come to Australia through regular migration, if they wish;
d.    although PNG and Nauru are parties to the 1951 Convention in Relation to the Status of Refugees (the Refugee Convention) and its 1967 Protocol, they are developing countries where the contribution of resources by Australia to enable processing and resettlement of refugees in PNG and Nauru will take a considerable period of time, and PNG has to date maintained reservations to provisions of the Refugee Convention imposing responsibility to safeguard refugees’ rights such as the right to work and to education;
e.    while the PNG and Nauru Arrangements provide that Papua New Guinea will withdraw its said reservations to the Refugee Convention and Australia will bear the cost of resettlement in Papua New Guinea, the UNHCR has expressed concern, based on visits by its representatives to PNG, about “significant shortcomings” in Papua New Guinea’s ability to legally and humanely process asylum-seekers, including “a lack of national capacity and expertise in processing, and poor physical conditions within open-ended, mandatory and arbitrary detention settings” .

7A.2     RECOGNISES THAT:

a.    some aspects of the way in which the new Regional Resettlement Arrangement will operate in practice, remain unknown;
b.    there are serious problems, including security problems, facing any Australian Government as a result of the increasing activity of criminals arranging unauthorised boat passages to Australia and a significant increase in the number of unauthorised maritime arrivals in Australia;
c.    losses of innocent lives at sea have occurred and are continuing to occur and this in addition poses risks to the lives and safety of Australian service personnel tasked with intercepting them;
d.    it is legitimate for the Australian government to deal with these problems, and to prevent  loss of life by measures which include appropriate regional arrangements and cooperation;
e.    asylum seekers,  whether they are unauthorised maritime arrivals, or people waiting in camps in Africa and Asia who have applied to come to Australia via the UNHCR, should be regarded as individual human beings who  have hopes and aspirations and dreams and feel the same pain and suffer the same grief as each of us;
f.    the Australian government needs to balance the competing moral and legal claims of those asylum seekers who attempt to enter Australia as unauthorised maritime arrivals and those who are not in the public’s line of sight and languish in camps in Africa and Asia after having applied to come to Australia by regular means via the UNHCR and whose time of waiting is increased by the admission of unauthorised maritime  arrivals into Australia;
g.    the admission of asylum seekers is a humanitarian act, and successive Australian Governments (both Labor and Coalition) have accepted that this engages Australia’s international obligations;
h.    the importance of dealing with policy concerning the admission of asylum seekers in a fair, humane and appropriate way preferably without partisanship;  and
i.    the regrettable absence, after many years of public debate and shifts in public opinion and government policy, of an overall policy that is widely accepted as the morally correct one.

7A.3     CALLS ON the Australian Government:
a.    to confirm that asylum seekers transferred to PNG or Nauru and found to be a refugee and resettled in PNG, Nauru or another participating regional state, will then be able to apply to come to Australia through regular migration, if they wish;
b.        to treat any application for reunion with family in Australia on its individual merits in line with existing family reunion policies and as an ordinary immigration application rather than as an application for refugee status;
c.    to ensure civilised and well-informed public discourse on issues relating to refugees and immigration;
d.    not to adopt any policy which arbitrarily limits or excludes from refugee protection any category of people with a genuine and well-founded fear of persecution in their homeland;
e.    act to prevent the loss of innocent lives at sea that arises from the increasing activity of criminals arranging unauthorised boat passages to Australia and the risks this poses to the lives and safety of Australian service personnel tasked with intercepting them;
f.    to work constructively with the Parliament and with other governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and appropriate non-government organisations to:
(i)    implement Australia’s important legal and moral obligations with respect to refugees;
(ii)    process applications by persons seeking asylum as expeditiously as possible and in a spirit of compassion, whether or not those applications are made through the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;
(iii)    ameliorate the plight of refugees in our region, around the world as well as in Australia, and
(iv)    encourage each of our regional neighbours not yet party to the Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol to become parties.
g.    to ensure any program to resettle genuine refugees in developing countries (including PNG and Nauru and other countries which are parties to the Refugee Convention), is consistent with Australia’s international treaty obligations and commitment to the humane treatment of refugees while also  dedicating sufficient funds, personnel and other resources to that program, to ensure that refugees are safe from violence and from discrimination and that their human rights, including the right to adequate health, education and other services and to the extent practicable to work, are properly accommodated, and that there is no net disadvantage to the local population, and further that asylum seekers whose applications for refugee status is pending:
•    have their individual claims and circumstances assessed fairly and within a reasonable time;
•    are  not subjected to unsafe or harsh conditions while that is occurring;
•    not to be subject to non-reviewable detention or unsafe or harsh conditions while that is occurring; and
•    are effectively protected against refoulement.

For your consideration:

 

Tony Burke MP

Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship

Minister for the Arts

http://www.immi.gov.au/about/foi/foi-disclosures.htm

New arrangement with Nauru Government

Saturday, 03 August 2013

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has today signed an Arrangement with the President of the Republic of Nauru Baron Waqa regarding unauthorised maritime arrivals.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreed to by Australia and Nauru, is in broadly similar terms to the arrangements with Papua New Guinea.

This MOU strengthens the regional approach taken by the Australian Government.

Under the Arrangement, it will now be possible for asylum seekers to not only be processed in Nauru, if they are found to be in need of protection, they could also be settled there.

In the first instance, the government will focus on transferees in family groups and unaccompanied minors for settlement.

Nauru is a nation with a small population. We would only expect modest numbers to ever be involved in settlement and our expectation is that they would be family groups and unaccompanied minors.

The significance of today’s announcement is not the numbers that are involved, but that we are adding an extra layer to a comprehensive regional approach and we thank the Government of Nauru for that.

The Government of Nauru first raised with Australia the prospect of looking at settlement arrangements in a meeting between Justice Minister David Adeang and Immigration Minister Tony Burke in Canberra on July 9.

Since that time, the two governments have been working together in identifying appropriate locations for family accommodation.

It is clear that the only way to deal with the challenge of people smuggling is through a comprehensive regional approach.

A cornerstone of this regional approach is to ensure people smugglers do not have a product to sell because people that come by boat without a visa will not be settled in Australia.

The government has always said that people smugglers would continue to test our resolve.

Today’s announcement is a reminder of the full strength of the resolve of this government.

Australia is committed to Nauru’s future development. Over the last three years under our Partnership for Development, Australia has invested $91.1 million in aid to Nauru, to support better health, education, electricity and water for the people of Nauru.

Australia expects to provide $29.9 million in aid to Nauru in 2013-14.

The recent riots involving a number of the single male transferees at Nauru on July 19 has led to a number of individuals being charged under the law of Nauru.

Australia respects the law of Nauru and respects that these individuals will have their charges tested following due process in the courts of Nauru.

The incident has put particular pressure on the capacity of the prison in Nauru.

The Australian Government has agreed to assist the Government of Nauru in expanding its prison capacity.

Today’s announcement will allow families and unaccompanied minors to settle and reside in Nauru without gaining citizenship.

We have instructed Australian officials to work with officials from Nauru to streamline visa arrangements.

—————————-

Government advertising

If you come here by boat without a visa you won’t be settled in Australia.

Australia’s migration policy has changed. From 19 July 2013 if you travel to Australia by boat with no visa, you will not be settled here. You will be sent to Papua New Guinea for processing. If found to be a refugee, you’ll be settled in Papua New Guinea, or another participating regional state, not Australia. This includes women and children. These changes have been introduced to stop people smugglers and stop further loss of life at sea.

If you are not found to be in need of protection, you will stay in Papua New Guinea until you can be sent to your home country.

There will be no cap on the number of people who can be transferred or resettled in Papua New Guinea.

Don’t risk your family’s safety. Don’t waste your money.

Don’t risk your life or waste your time or money by paying people smugglers. If you pay a people smuggler you are buying a ticket to another country.

Arriving in Australia by boat means:

  • being sent straight to Papua New Guinea for processing
  • being settled in Papua New Guinea, not Australia, even if you are found to be a refugee
  • not being reunited with family and friends in Australia.

—————

 

REGIONAL RESETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA

This Arrangement outlines further practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to combat people smuggling. It builds on the mutually agreed principles governing cooperation set out in the Joint Partnership Declaration signed in Port Moresby in May 2013, notes that Australia and Papua New Guinea have a common interest in addressing regional and global challenges, in collaboration with the wider region, including other countries in the South Pacific. The cooperation outlined in this Arrangement underlines the strategic importance and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship, and the commitment of both governments to ensure that the relationship remains relevant to contemporary challenges.

Enhanced cooperation to combat people smuggling

  1. Australia and Papua New Guinea recognize the serious and urgent humanitarian and border security challenge presented to regional countries by people smuggling. Both countries recall the key outcomes of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking and Related Transnational Crime, held in Indonesia in March 2011. These include encouraging sub-regional and bilateral arrangements to create disincentives for irregular travel, including through possible transfer and readmission arrangements.
  2. Existing cooperation between Australia and Papua New Guinea, in particular through the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, represents a significant element of the regional response to people smuggling. Australia warmly welcomes Papua New Guinea’s offer to adopt additional measures which build on the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. These measures will make a significant further contribution to encouraging potential unauthorized arrivals to avail themselves of lawful channels to seek asylum and to abandon the practice of perilous sea journeys which has led to the deaths of so many.
  3. Commencing on the day of announcement, any unauthorized maritime arrival entering Australian waters will be liable for transfer to Papua New Guinea (in the first instance, Manus Island) for processing and resettlement in Papua New Guinea and in any other participating regional, including Pacific Island, states. Papua New Guinea undertakes for an initial twelve month period to accept unauthorised maritime arrivals for processing and, if successful in their application for refugee status, resettlement. This program will be for 12 months and will be subject to review on an annual basis through the Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum.
  4. In the case of Papua New Guinea, unauthorised maritime arrivals would be transferred to Papua New Guinea following a short health, security and identity check in Australia. Transferees would be accommodated in regional processing centres. Papua New Guinea will undertake refugee status determination. The regional processing centre will be managed and administered by Papua New Guinea under Papua New Guinea law, with support from Australia.
  1. What is unique about this Arrangement is that persons found to be refugees will be resettled in Papua New Guinea and any other participating regional, including Pacific Island, state. Persons found not to be refugees may be held in detention or returned to their home country or a country where they had right of residence.
  2. The Refugees Convention requires a commitment to non-refoulement. However the missing element in current regional processing arrangements involving Australia is the absence of a final destination for proven refugees for permanent resettlement.
  3. Australia and Papua New Guinea take seriously their obligations for the welfare and safety of any persons transferred to Papua New Guinea under this Arrangement. Papua New Guinea, a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relation to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, will immediately take steps to withdraw its reservations to the Convention, with respect to persons transferred by Australia to Papua New Guinea under this Arrangement.
  4. Australia will provide support, through a service provider, to any refugees who are resettled in Papua New Guinea or in any other participating regional, including Pacific Island, state. Australia will also assist Papua New Guinea in effecting the transfer of those transferees who seek return to their home country or country where they have right of residence.
  5. Australia will bear the full cost of implementing the Arrangement in Papua New Guinea for the life of the Arrangement. If this requires additional development of infrastructure or services, it is envisaged that there will be a broader benefit for communities in which transferees are initially placed.
  6. Regional Processing Centres will continue to play an important part in bilateral cooperation, especially as locations to house transferees temporarily should the capacity of communities require development. Australia will work with Papua New Guinea to expand the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre and will also explore with Papua New Guinea the possible construction of other Regional Processing Centres and other options. Regional Processing Centres will be developed so that they can be utilised flexibly for the benefit of local communities or for wider national purposes.
  7. The undertakings set out in this Arrangement are sufficient for the new arrangements to apply for any unauthorised maritime arrival who presents from the date of announcement. Officials will settle separately detailed administrative arrangements, including by 31 July 2013 a new bilateral Memorandum of Understanding to replace the Memorandum of Understanding currently in effect for the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Transfers can commence ahead of the Memorandum of Understanding being finalized.

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP The Hon Peter O’Neill CMG MP Prime Minister of Australia ` Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

 

——————–

 

Regional Settlement Arrangement

What have Papua New Guinea and Australia agreed to?

Under the new agreement signed with Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 19 July 2013 – the Regional Settlement Arrangement – unauthorised maritime arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there.

From July 19 – no matter where an asylum seeker arrives in Australia by boat – they are subject to transfer to Papua New Guinea and if they are found to be a genuine refugee, they will be permanently settled in PNG.

People found not to be refugees may be returned to their home country or a country where they had a right of residence, or held in a transit facility.

There is no limit to the numbers that may be transferred or settled.

These changes will send the clearest possible message that coming to Australia by boat is not the way to gain Australian residency.

When will this arrangement begin?

Immediately.

Australia will work with PNG to expand the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, as well as explore the construction of other regional processing centres in
Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea has also agreed to take immediate steps to withdraw its reservations to the Refugees Convention, with respect to people transferred by Australia to PNG under this new arrangement.

The arrangement also allows for other countries (including Pacific Island states) to participate in similar arrangements in the future.

Will children be transferred?

Everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available. Children or family groups will not be exempted from transfer. Exempting them would simply encourage people smugglers to put children on boats to Australia.

What about unaccompanied minors?

It will take longer for appropriate accommodation to become available for unaccompanied minors but once appropriate processing facilities are identified transfers can begin. While there are no blanket or broad exemptions to transfer to a regional processing country, Australia recognises that unaccompanied minors have particular guardianship and welfare requirements that need to be met.

Australian authorities will be working closely with their PNG counterparts to develop a framework of arrangements to cater for the needs of unaccompanied minors once they are transferred to PNG.

And what if an unaccompanied minor’s relatives are already in Australia? Is it any different if the relatives already have a permanent visa?

It will not make a difference if unaccompanied minor has family in Australia. Everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available.

If anyone – including unaccompanied minors or their family members in Australia – undertakes to bypass proper migration pathways and instead pay people smugglers for a boat trip to Australia, they will be liable under the Migration Act for transfer from Australia to a regional processing country.

Unaccompanied minors are no exception to this established process.

Will children be settled in PNG?

The Australian Government, in partnership with the PNG Government, will support settlement services for those with refugee status. This includes children and their families.

Unaccompanied minors will be settled as safe and appropriate accommodation and services are identified.

What happens to pregnant women?

The default position is that everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available.

There will be no blanket exemptions for children or family groups – including pregnant women. Appropriate arrangements will be available for children and families in PNG.

What will happen if asylum seekers make it to the mainland? Will they still be liable to be transferred to PNG under these arrangements?

Recent amendments to the Migration Act now mean that mainland boat arrivals are treated the same as those who arrive at excised offshore places.

What about those people who arrived before the announcement?

People who arrived before the announcement will not be subject to the new settlement arrangements in PNG.

However, anyone who arrived after 13 August 2012 can still be transferred to a regional processing country to have their claims assessed.

Is the government still committed to the increased humanitarian program intake of 20 000?

Yes. Australia’s humanitarian program has increased to 20 000 places a year. This is the largest increase to Australia’s humanitarian intake in 30 years.

Will people transferred to the new centres be subject to the same processing arrangements as those on Manus Island?

Yes. Refugee status determinations will be made by PNG under PNG law.

What will happen to those people found not to be refugees?

Those who are found not to be refugees will be expected to return to their home country or to a country where they have right of residence.

How many people can be transferred to PNG under the new arrangements?

There is no maximum number.

Does the ‘no advantage’ principle still apply? Will those who are not being transferred still have to wait years for a visa?

The government will still apply the principle of ‘no advantage’.

This is an important element of a regional framework to ensure that any incentives to take dangerous boat journeys to Australia are significantly diminished, while offering increased opportunities for resettlement via regular pathways through Australia’s humanitarian program.

Is this legal?

The government is confident that all actions that are taken to implement this policy are in full compliance with the law.

Are these arrangements consistent with Australia’s international obligations?

We will implement these arrangements in a manner that is consistent with our international obligations.

Those transferred and accommodated in PNG will be treated with dignity and respect and in accordance with human rights standards.

Regional Settlement Arrangement

What have Papua New Guinea and Australia agreed to?

Under the new agreement signed with Papua New Guinea (PNG) on 19 July 2013 – the Regional Settlement Arrangement – unauthorised maritime arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there.

From July 19 – no matter where an asylum seeker arrives in Australia by boat – they are subject to transfer to Papua New Guinea and if they are found to be a genuine refugee, they will be permanently settled in PNG.

People found not to be refugees may be returned to their home country or a country where they had a right of residence, or held in a transit facility.

There is no limit to the numbers that may be transferred or settled.

These changes will send the clearest possible message that coming to Australia by boat is not the way to gain Australian residency.

When will this arrangement begin?

Immediately.

Australia will work with PNG to expand the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, as well as explore the construction of other regional processing centres in
Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea has also agreed to take immediate steps to withdraw its reservations to the Refugees Convention, with respect to people transferred by Australia to PNG under this new arrangement.

The arrangement also allows for other countries (including Pacific Island states) to participate in similar arrangements in the future.

Will children be transferred?

Everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available. Children or family groups will not be exempted from transfer. Exempting them would simply encourage people smugglers to put children on boats to Australia.

What about unaccompanied minors?

It will take longer for appropriate accommodation to become available for unaccompanied minors but once appropriate processing facilities are identified transfers can begin. While there are no blanket or broad exemptions to transfer to a regional processing country, Australia recognises that unaccompanied minors have particular guardianship and welfare requirements that need to be met.

Australian authorities will be working closely with their PNG counterparts to develop a framework of arrangements to cater for the needs of unaccompanied minors once they are transferred to PNG.

And what if an unaccompanied minor’s relatives are already in Australia? Is it any different if the relatives already have a permanent visa?

It will not make a difference if unaccompanied minor has family in Australia. Everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available.

If anyone – including unaccompanied minors or their family members in Australia – undertakes to bypass proper migration pathways and instead pay people smugglers for a boat trip to Australia, they will be liable under the Migration Act for transfer from Australia to a regional processing country.

Unaccompanied minors are no exception to this established process.

Will children be settled in PNG?

The Australian Government, in partnership with the PNG Government, will support settlement services for those with refugee status. This includes children and their families.

Unaccompanied minors will be settled as safe and appropriate accommodation and services are identified.

What happens to pregnant women?

The default position is that everyone who arrives after the announcement will be transferred once health checks are complete and appropriate accommodation is available.

There will be no blanket exemptions for children or family groups – including pregnant women. Appropriate arrangements will be available for children and families in PNG.

What will happen if asylum seekers make it to the mainland? Will they still be liable to be transferred to PNG under these arrangements?

Recent amendments to the Migration Act now mean that mainland boat arrivals are treated the same as those who arrive at excised offshore places.

What about those people who arrived before the announcement?

People who arrived before the announcement will not be subject to the new settlement arrangements in PNG.

However, anyone who arrived after 13 August 2012 can still be transferred to a regional processing country to have their claims assessed.

Is the government still committed to the increased humanitarian program intake of 20 000?

Yes. Australia’s humanitarian program has increased to 20 000 places a year. This is the largest increase to Australia’s humanitarian intake in 30 years.

Will people transferred to the new centres be subject to the same processing arrangements as those on Manus Island?

Yes. Refugee status determinations will be made by PNG under PNG law.

What will happen to those people found not to be refugees?

Those who are found not to be refugees will be expected to return to their home country or to a country where they have right of residence.

How many people can be transferred to PNG under the new arrangements?

There is no maximum number.

Does the ‘no advantage’ principle still apply? Will those who are not being transferred still have to wait years for a visa?

The government will still apply the principle of ‘no advantage’.

This is an important element of a regional framework to ensure that any incentives to take dangerous boat journeys to Australia are significantly diminished, while offering increased opportunities for resettlement via regular pathways through Australia’s humanitarian program.

Is this legal?

The government is confident that all actions that are taken to implement this policy are in full compliance with the law.

Are these arrangements consistent with Australia’s international obligations?

We will implement these arrangements in a manner that is consistent with our international obligations.

Those transferred and accommodated in PNG will be treated with dignity and respect and in accordance with human rights standards.

 

Refugee Policy Review – Background Paper

 

Comments

3 Responses to “The Jewish Community and Asylum Seekers – Have Your Say”
  1. Michael says:

    Interesring in today’s al , age and it’s Sydney sister SMH the PNG PM is reported clam most of the asylum seekers are not genuine and most are comiing here fir economic reasons . Wow I would never face thought that .

    And I thought the most over represented boat people the Iranians were fleeing for their lives from the huge civil war going in in Iran . Well this is what all my compassionate Jewish friends are telling me .

  2. David says:

    With the greatest respect why does the ECAJ feel it necessary to have a policy on asylum seekers?
    Isn’t the ECAJ supposed to look after the interests of the Jewish community.

    It is obvious that a great deal of time,thought and resources have been put into formulating this policy that could have been better employed on matters Jewish.

    Does the ECAJ have a policy on climate change, on sending Australian troops to Afghanistan?

    Perhaps it is time for the ECAJ to revisit the role it should be playing on behalf of the Jewish population in Australia.

  3. michael says:

    Instead of Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan, Palestinian , Pakistani, Sudanese , Somali Asylum seekers being given welfare and other handouts why can’ the Jewish community give these people paid jobs as security guarding our Synagogues, Jewish days schools , community centers and visiting Israeli officials.
    They could also guard he offices of Jewish Aid, AIJAC, TBI and Caulfield Shules and other Jewish organizations.
    I’m sure the compassionate Jewish community wouldn’t mind paying these costs.

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