Asylum Seeker Debate
25 February 2010 at 3:30 pm
The Refugee Council of Australia claims that there is a negative debate emerging around asylum seekers that is undermining the acceptance of refugees in Australia.
With reports that asylum seeker numbers so far this year are the highest on record in Australia, Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power claims numbers are still extremely low in comparison to those experienced in other countries, and that the negative and unnecessary debate is undermining Australians’ acceptance of people genuinely requiring urgent help.
Power, who will discuss Australian attitudes to the acceptance of refugees at the National Symposium on Racism at Murdoch University in Perth in March, says gross misrepresentation of the facts is having a negative impact on the genuine refugees who fled persecution to seek safety in Australia.
He says that it’s ludicrous that Australia is having this shrill debate when numbers are comparatively very low and that genuine refugees are being painted by politicians and the media as illegal immigrants.
He says the fact is that there’s no threat to border security, these people are not breaking the law by seeking our help.
He says the negative way these asylum seekers’ situation is being presented by both politicians and the media undermines Australians’ acceptance of people who desperately need help.
Murdoch University researchers have also said there is a lot of misinformation surrounding asylum seekers and have released a statement debunking what they say are the myths around asylum seekers.
To read the full abstract of Paul Power’s talk at the National Symposium on Racism being held in Perth March 19-20, go to: www.rralp2010.com.au
The Refugee Council of Australia says the event will see anti-racism experts and academics from around the world converge on Perth to discuss the latest in the fight against racism and offer urgent solutions to Australia’s racial woes.