Amnesty International welcomes the news that the Australian Labor Party has unanimously rejected Immigration Minister Dutton’s outrageous and unnecessary proposal for a lifetime ban on people seeking asylum.
“It is encouraging to see the Labor party step up at this time and make the right decision to reject this callous and cruel legislation,” said Dr Graham Thom, Refugee Coordinator at Amnesty International Australia.
“The proposed lifetime ban of refugees has been laid out and seen for what it really is – yet another layer of cruelty in Australia’s already deliberately abusive policy, designed to cause even more suffering to people who are simply looking for a safe place to rebuild their lives.”
Amnesty International is now strongly urging the Senate crossbench to follow the ALP’s lead and reject the bill to ensure this cruel proposal has no future.
“Instead of focusing on short-term punitive measures which blatantly disregard the Australian Government’s responsibility to provide safety and protection for people who need it, the quickest and fairest way to look after the 2000 men, women and children on Nauru and Manus Island is to bring them to Australia for processing and settlement,” said Dr Graham Thom.
“The next crucial step for all parties is to look towards humane solutions – solutions that both reduce deaths at sea and eliminate abusive treatment of refugees – one shouldn’t come at the expense of the other.”