Most asylum seekers actual refugees: UN

September 13, 2012

ABOUT 90 per cent of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat are genuine refugees and not economic migrants, the UN says.

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Richard Towle, regional representative for the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, told a forum organised by the Anglican Archdiocese of Brisbane on Thursday that the political debate on refugees is misleading.

“It’s eroded public support of the idea of asylum, and trust in the entire system of receiving and protecting people who come to Australia,” Mr Towle said.

“It’s time the facts were on the table.

“Let’s be clear; this is a refugee movement.”

The alternative, he said, is to wait in camps for years, sometimes decades, with no real prospect of going home or somewhere better.

“If we were in the same situation, we would all put our money in the hands of someone who could get us out,”he said.

“If a fire is burning in a building, everyone wants to get out.”

Mr Towle told the forum the notion of queue jumping is false logic.

“It’s a completely artificial construct; there is no queue.

“There never was a queue, it’s a cruel deception on people to suggest like at a bank you wait patiently for your number and will be picked to go.”

He said some nationalities, like Somalis, have no chance of being resettled because of security issues.

“If you want to come to Australia to claim asylum, the only way you can really do it is by boat because all other ways are simply impossible.”

AAP mjs/bart




Filed under Human Rights and Refugee Activists, UNHCR

3 responses to “Most asylum seekers actual refugees: UN

  1. Brisk

    the situation of refugees from Myanmar in camps in Thailand is also one of the most protracted in the world. these refugees have been confined to nine closed camps since they began arriving in the 1980s. according to Thai law, those found outside the camps are subject to arrest and deportation. Legally, refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand have no right to employment.

  2. my name is ali mohammad.and i am refugge 1 yesr ago now i am in surabaya.
    Their is many people afghan. Pakistani.srilankan.iran and iraq. Afghan people 3 day ago they are at protest they don’t eat anything. Because of uncher is not their 3 month ago.un not come for them.and iom also not their boss of imigration 2 month ago he is still at jakarta. nobody care about us. Some of imigration fight with us. imigration said this is my country why you their go back your country. We said transfer us from their. But not give answer.
    many of hazara sick. They don’t care .
    Pls pls pls pls pls help us i know u can do something for us . Thanks for reading

  3. Pingback: The mass hunger strike of over 300 people detained on Nauru continues. « refugee strike berlin

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