A perspective from behind Barbed wire
A perspective from behind Barbed wire

When someone suggests that they don’t have the slightest problem with the coalition’s asylum policies I wonder if they have a perspective on exactly how these asylum seekers are treated.  Three reports have been generated about their treatment.  The Human Right’s Commission produced one during the Labor administration and then another during the Liberal Administration of the Asylum camps.  Then the Liberal Government commissioned an independent report on Manus Island (The Moss report).   All of them said essentially that the treatment of Asylum seekers was appalling for a variety of reasons.

Given that seeking asylum is not illegal, therefore these people have done no wrong, so why is that treatment so much worse than those who have done wrong. If I were to commit murder and then be sent to jail for this crime, I would be given three square meals daily, I would have a comfortable bed to sleep in, in a secure, robust facility. I would be allowed exercise, reading, rehabilitation opportunities and all manner of facilities provided to me. Frankly if given a choice of my crimes, I would rather commit an act of violence, and it’s consequential jail term then suffer the fate afforded innocent people trying to escape violence.  Consider what Australia normally considers a convicted prisoner’s treatment should be while incarcerated.

“GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF PRISONERS” from the Australian Department of Justice.
Correctional services in Australia seek to improve and maintain the safety of and confidence in the correctional system by managing prisoners consistently and with reference to the guiding principles that prisoners are:
1. Managed and contained in a safe, secure, humane manner.
2. Managed equitably, with recognition of their diverse needs.
3. Actively engaged to make positive behaviour change (inclusive of accessing intervention programmes, education, vocational education and work opportunities) with the aims of preparing them for their participation in and return to the community, as well as reducing re-offending behaviour.
4. Provided opportunity to make reparation to the community.
5. Managed consistent with the Acts and Regulations applicable to each jurisdiction, and the sentences and requirements imposed by the Courts.
6. Held at a level of security which is commensurate with the level of risk posed by that prisoner.
7. Where practicable, placed in correctional facilities with a regard to their community of interest and other support needs.
8. Supervised fairly and consistently with the aims of encouraging positive behaviours and maintaining security.
9. Provided with access to health care, to the same standard as in the community, in response to need, with an appropriate range of preventative services, and promoting continuity with external health services upon release.”
Now given that is how we are supposed to treat thieves, murderers and rapists in our community have a real look at how we treat refugees.  Compare any of this requirement with what we treat people who have done nothing illegal and merely sought to escape from people who act in the same manner as they which we deem imprisonable!   We refer to these innocent people as Refugees but treat them as worse than criminal!  So how do we treat them?
Imagine if it were your child imprisoned?
Imagine if it were your child imprisoned?

Given what I read in the Moss Report (which is very carefully & legally worded and redacted), it still paints a horrific story.  These children and their mothers mentioned in the report will likely never recover from the effects of their abuse.  That our politicians allowed this abuse on their watch and were reluctant to investigate is reprehensible.  Were it your children you would be screaming blue murder, but because it isn’t, we prefer complacency.  It is very evident from the Moss report that if Sarah Hanson Young had not pressured Morrison to have Moss investigate the allegations and then, only do so to garner evidence (not found) for the unfounded accusations against Save the Children staff; that report would not exist.  The redacted Moss Review report is available at http://www.immi.gov.au/about/dept-info/_files/review-conditions-circumstances-nauru.pdf  Now keep in mind this is the government’s sponsored report NOT the Human Right’s Commissioner’s report.  So if you are aligning yourself with some view that the HR report was “partisan” then what do you say about a report of even worse abuses produced and commissioned by the LNP Government?

While the official reports are a terrible indictment of what Australia has done in our name, and these are available for anyone to look up.  The reality is that most people will not bother.  On the other hand, a first-hand story told by a Mother in the camp may engage you and hopefully educate you.  Click and read.