the few teenage asylum seekers who was finally settled in Australia
last year, he revealed, ‘we were treated lesser than humans, we were
treated lesser than animals. We were promised food and water, but
ran out in only a week. Some parents stole the last of the supplies
and secretly fed their children, but I had no one. I was only 14. In
hinds sight Bashir was one of the lucky ones, as he lives to tell his
story today. Unfortunately, in a recent report by the
disclosed that only two thirds of these boats ever safely make it to
their destination. For the lucky ones who survive the journey, the
struggle doesn’t end there, they are immediately held in detention,
waiting for our approval.
It should be our moral obligation to provide refuge for these
asylum seekers who have the courage and tenacity to chase their only
chance of hope.
Unfortunately, for decades now our government has fabricated
this idea that asylum seekers are ‘illegal’, ‘pests’, ‘cue jumpers’,
demanding a right they are not entitled to.
However, Article 14 in The
Refugee Convention (which
Australia helped to draft) recognises that refugees have a right to
enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of
how they arrive or whether they hold valid documents.
Asylum seekers do not break any Australian laws simply by
arriving on boats without authorisation. So why are we going around
calling genuine asylum seekers illegal? They have as much right to
life in this country as we do.
Although some may argue, an influx of asylum seekers resettled in
Australia will cost our government too much due to various benefit
payouts. We may not realise that accepting asylum seekers would
actually be more economically efficient.
As of February 2014, Tony Abbott has mandated a team of
engineers to build lifeboats, which are for the sole purpose of
intercepting asylum seeker boats entering Australian waters by
sending them back to Indonesia. However, sneaky Tony Abbott
probably doesn’t want us to know that these lifeboats cost over
$200,000 each to build and can only be used once.
To date, spending over $4 million on this project to tow away
asylum seekers, we must put into perspective that it would have only
cost $3.8 million to settle all 4,600 asylum seekers who applied for
sanctuary in Australia last year. That’s $4 million we literally chucked