The High Court ruling that stopped the Malaysia Deal is an incredible victory for asylum seekers and human rights.
We would like to thank everyone for their huge effort in signing petitions, sending letters and emails, and calling their Members of Parliament to help stop this deal.
What does the High Court decision mean?
The High Court found that the Minister for Immigration can only declare a country to be a safe place to send asylum seekers if the country is legally bound under international and domestic law to provide:
- Effective procedure for assessing their need for protection;
- Protection pending a determination on their status;
- Protection once they have been found to be refugees.
The country must also meet certain human rights standards in providing that protection.
What does Amnesty think?
The High Court decision confirms what we have been saying all along: that Malaysia is obviously not a safe place to send asylum seekers.
Malaysia is a country that has not signed the UN Refugee Convention, and which canes, detains and abuses asylum seekers. Asylum seekers and refugees have no legal status under Malaysian law and their human rights are routinely abused.
Where to from here?
Now that the High Court has put an end to this sorry saga, it's time for common sense to prevail. Australia should treat all asylum seekers equally, regardless of whether they come by boat or by plane.
Here's hoping that the Australian government will take a more humane approach to asylum seekers, and one which fulfils our obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.