Australia’s offshore detention policies have helped to produce indifference to the suffering of refugees. Pushing refugees out of sight, and out of mind, has now placed them beyond moral concern.
Offshore processing is a failed policy that continues to haemorrhage cash, destroy lives and erode the international system for refugee protection.
David Foote/National Archives of Australia
The rhetoric and policy focus of the Howard government in the wake of the Tampa crisis and the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001 changed dramatically – and the effects are still being felt today.
Nauru’s culture of hospitality once applied to all, including the asylum seekers who arrived in 2001 to a dance of welcome, a tradition depicted on this stamp. Refugee resettlement has changed all that.
Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees…