The following does not directly represent the views of any asylum seekers detained at Nauru. The following is the primary blogger, ‘Blogger 1′, responding to comments received on the blog. For information about this wordpress blog, visit the ‘About’.
So the question was asked today – “What would be the reaction of the people of your town or village if thousands of people arrived from another country and insisted on staying and being housed and fed?”
I am Australian, so I can’t pretend to know what other people’s reactions anywhere across the globe would be. However, if the shocking lack of humanitarian consciousness found in Australia were replicated in other parts of the world than I could only expect that the popular reaction to asylum seekers would be similar elsewhere.
Whether or not Australian people are welcoming to refugees, it should be understood that Australia is a signatory nation to the refugee convention and other international conventions that state that refugees have the right to seek asylum in Australia. Refugees, therefore, have the right to come here and their actions in doing so are not unlawful.
For the Australian government to provide asylum seekers with anything less than food and a roof over their head would be a display of cruelty the likes of which no-one should ever wish to see practiced in this country (not that the current policies of offshore detention and the various associated human rights abuses haven’t already amounted to cruelty).
The reality is that while there are conflicts and dangerous regimes around the world, there will be refugee movement. If Australia wishes to minimise it’s humanitarian intake, the real solution would be to work with our neighbouring countries in the hope of having many more other countries respecting the rights of refugees and universal human rights in general – that way there would be many more countries around the world where people would feel that they could safely seek humanitarian protection. That way, refugee arrivals in Australia may be lessened without resorting to measures such as turning boats around and forcing people to seek asylum in countries that do not recognise universal human rights to the fullest extent.