Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
It's time to stop punishing asylum-seekers.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Sarah Hanson-Young Australian Greens

It's Time To Stop Punishing Asylum-Seekers

Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young

Monday 16th August 2010, 4:31pm



• Human Rights & Justice

• Detention Centres

• Immigration

• Refugees

Tony Abbott's constant attacks on refugees do nothing to help his credibility as a potential Prime Minister,

according to Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

"Playing politics with people's lives is ugly, and Australians deserve better from their leaders,'' said Senator

Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Immigration and Human Rights.

"Tony Abbott either doesn't know or doesn't care about the effect his Nauru regional processing centre will

have on the mental health of people who have fled persecution.

"Mr Abbott's Nauru proposal is impractical, a waste of money, and just plain wrong. We know that

prolonged or indefinite detention has a deteriorating effect on people's mental health, and that detention in

an isolated location like Nauru will only make things worse.

"His obsession with turning boats back is not the sign of a potential Prime Minister, either.

"Both Labor and the Coalition's plans to offload vulnerable asylum-seekers onto the poorest countries in

our region shows the old parties don't understand the realities of people seeking protection.

"The Greens are the only party that is opposed to mandatory detention, that opposes offshore processing,

that says that the detention of hundreds of children in Australia and offshore is a disgrace to our

humanitarian tradition, and that detention should only be used as a last resort.''

The Greens' policy calls for the use of community reception centres in metropolitan areas of Australia, to

allow asylum-seekers to have their claims processed quickly, fairly and humanely and to allow ease of

access to critical services.

"If people want a party that will have a compassionate approach to asylum-seekers, that understands

Australia's international obligations can't be thrown away for the sake of a few votes, and that this country

can't ignore the upheaval that forces people to cross oceans in search of protection, then their only choice

is a vote for the Greens on Saturday,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.