Dr Suresh Sundrain of the Australian Medical Health Research Institute has stated that people enter detention, resembling resilient and healthy then we subject them to extraordinary conditions we appear to subvert there resilience and their mental health, he goes onto say that “there is good data is show that most people who had significant immigration centre experiences have comprised mental health on release, and these mental health problems persist for a protracted period following resettlement.
So how dumb is this ? No only do we summit these poor people to humiliating detention akin for no crime akin to a prison settlement, we inflict such a traumatic experience on them while their in detention that it leaves stars of mental illness to the point where it manes them from participating in society. We then ending up forking out their welfare payments for the rest of their lives and this can represent hundred and thousands of dollars per asylum seeker. Please explain to me, how this makes any sense ?
Despite the hysteria generated by the asylum seeker debate, it needs to be remembered that Australia has always had high obligations to assist asylum seekers under international law, mainly the 1951 united nation convention relating to the status of refugees and the 1967 protocol to which Australia is a signatory. Inspective of how these people arrived to Australia, legally and illegally, the fact remains that between 2008 to 2010 the number of boat people seeking asylum in Australia rose from 161 to 6535 once here we an obligation to look after them. Many have risked everything to make the dangerous journey. Some have left families, some have been displaced and others have others tremendous torture. While they have committed no crime, it is a crime of the nation which locks people up in mandatory detention and inflicts another round of mental anguish in amongst an insurmountable beurocacy of legalism and red tape.
As a recent documentary on 4 corners revealed, mandatory detention is a blight on our nation. We need to stand up to our government representatives that enough is enough. Mandatory detention is cruel and demining and just factors for producing mental illness and depression. In the land that prides itself on giving everyone a fair go it is time for us to give asylum seekers a fair go.
So what can you do to make a difference ? There are three easy ways that you alone can help 1. Write a letter to your local Politian, Politian’s understand only one votes and if they want your vote they will need to listen, come to their party, organise a petition from other members of your school or workplace. Perhaps side with the petition being organised by four corners ( see website). 2. Be informed , be aware of the problem dig deep into the issue if you haven’t done so already, motivate yourself to view the four corners documentary on inhuman detention , it is powerful, confronting and informative. Don’t be the emu, with its head in the sand, take an interest in what’s happing around you and then you are in a position to make a difference. There is plenty of internet support about this topic.
Join or find an organisation like Amnesty international are raising funds for there project freedom from fences which aims to A) get access or interview asylum seekers in remote detention centres, so that there stories can be told, B) support research and help with the protective applications of individual asylum seekers, C) monitor and support peoples claims if they have been treated unfairly and D) Lobby the government to abandon the barbaric practice of mandatory detention.
As fair minded Australians I am sure you will agree that detention centres don’t work and in fact they are responsible for causing more trauma and mental illness. Finally as an Australian, you must agree with our nation logo on which we are prided upon that is to give to everyone a fair go. Therefore we must also give these despite people a fair go also, it is time to shut down detention centres forever and lets look for more human ways of processing their refuge status. Whatever your political agenda or colour it is incumbent on us to give asylum seekers a fair go and the right to heard in a civilised and compassionate manner.