Maritime Migration

2 July 2013

The Foreign Minister calling asylum seekers economic refugees is inflammatory and will not make the problem disappear, writes Professor Mary Crock.
In an article co-authored with Professor Jane McAdam from UNSW and Associate Professor Michelle Foster from the University of Melbourne, they writes that "The Foreign Minister's assertions that maritime asylum seekers are all ''economic migrants'' - and that Australia is lenient in its processing of refugee claims - are inflammatory remarks that have no basis in fact.

"While Australia is experiencing a surge in irregular migrants seeking protection as refugees, so are many countries around the world: this is a global trend.

"It is disturbing that so many are arriving by boat, risking lives in the process.

"However, it is not surprising that so many maritime asylum seekers are found to be refugees - people who have a ''well-founded fear'' of being persecuted for one of the five Refugee Convention reasons: race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or political opinion.

"The simple truth is that using people smugglers to reach Australia by boat is dangerous and difficult. It is not an option taken lightly or for no good reason."

View the entire article - Overheated Carr takes aim at scapegoats in boats - The Age

Contact: Greg Sherington

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