Kind or cruel?: Labor's asylum and boat people policies
journal contributionposted on 04.05.2017 by Millbank, Adrienne
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Between 1992 and 2002 different Australian governments developed a set of increasingly tough policies to deter asylum-seekers, including boat people, from targeting Australia as a preferred country of destination. The Rudd Government has dismantled many of these policies and the number of boat arrivals has risen. But at the same time as it has increased the welcome afforded to those asylum-seekers who manage to reach Australian waters or territory, the government has increased its efforts to prevent them from doing so. These efforts include spending more money on Australia's border protection agencies overseas, encouraging neighbouring countries to pass laws against people smuggling, and funding a 'border movement alert' in Indonesia. Thus at the same time as the welcome offered to boat people has increased so have the barriers to their actually taking advantage of it. The result has been both an increase in the numbers making the attempt and an increase in deaths at sea and other misfortunes. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s