Asylum seekers wait at the Macedonia border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, 24 August 2015

Amnesty International urges other countries to see through Turnbull’s deception

Ahead of the Leaders Summit, hosted by US President Barack Obama in New York tomorrow, Amnesty International is urging other countries to reject the model of abuse that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is championing and instead call on Australia to do its fair share.

“Instead of doing its fair share for the world’s most vulnerable people, the Australian Government is trapping thousands on remote islands and then promoting these abusive practices as a solution to the world.”

Dr Graham Thom – Refugee coordinator, Amnesty International Australia

Ahead of the Leaders Summit, hosted by US President Barack Obama in New York tomorrow, Amnesty International is urging other countries to reject the model of abuse that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is championing and instead call on Australia to do its fair share.

Dr Graham Thom, Amnesty International Australia’s refugee coordinator, who is currently in New York for the UN and Leaders Summits, said:

“Today’s refugee situation is a global challenge where all governments must step up. It is absolutely shameful to see our Prime Minister stand on the world stage and champion the systematic abuse of thousands of women, children and men on remote islands as a model others should follow.

“It is absolutely shameful to see our Prime Minister stand on the world stage and champion the systematic abuse of thousands of women, children and men on remote islands as a model others should follow.”

Dr Graham Thom

“Prime Minister Turnbull says world leaders should look to Australia’s border control policies for inspiration, yet he fails to explain that Australia’s definition of “border control” equates to the Government building a deliberate system of cruel treatment for refugees, and flouting international law.

“This is completely the wrong pathway for the world to follow at a time with record global displacement. Cruelty and shirking responsibility will not solve this global situation and it shows just how out of step Prime Minister Turnbull is with global reality.

“The purpose of these two summits in New York is for key leaders to agree on innovative, visionary and practical ways forward to address the global refugee situation. At the very heart of any solution is each government doing their fair share, there is simply no other way for this global challenge to be resolved.”

“At the very heart of any solution is each government doing their fair share, there is simply no other way for this global challenge to be resolved.”

Dr Graham Thom

Amnesty International is strongly calling on the Australian Government to step up at the Leaders Summit tomorrow and urgently change direction. First by immediately committing to getting people off Nauru and Manus Island and bringing them to Australia for processing and settlement.

The human rights organisation is also calling on Australia to step up its humanitarian refugee intake to an annual minimum of 30,000 people.

Dr Graham Thom added: “Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, yet our government is failing to play a fair part in providing sanctuary for those fleeing conflict and persecution and this urgently needs to change.”

“International law makes it plain that everyone is entitled to seek asylum in other countries. Championing this abuse is as unsustainable as it is cruelly unfair.”

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