Australian Government proposes lifetime refugee ban

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Image: Greens MPs

There’s another thorn in the side of Australia’s international reputation as the Turnbull government proposes a bill to permanently ban refugees (who sought to enter Australia without a visa from mid-2013) from ever reaching the nation.

The government’s proposal would ban refugees who are on Nauru and Manus Island from ever entering Australia on a business visa, or even as a tourist to visit friends and family.

The Australian government suggests the bill is consistent with International Law, but in many ways it seems to undermine it.

Under International Law, everyone has the right to seek asylum – with or without a visa, with Article 31(1) of the Refugee Convention requiring Australia not to:

  • “impose penalties, on account of … illegal entry” to Australia by refugees who have come “directly” from a place of persecution;
  • on the terms that they “present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry”.

Doesn’t the proposed lifetime ban violate this provision?

Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

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