Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Afghan refugees deserve our compassion

with 5 comments

Kevin Rudd’s vitriolic attack on people smugglers is a diversion from the plight of Afgan refugees.

The reason they are refugees is because the Nato alliance together with 1100 Australian troops have invaded Afghanistan in their fight against the Taliban.  It is the very terror of that war that is creating the refugees in the first place.  Put yourself in their position – you would be looking for a way to get the hell out of there … that is a reasonable response.

But, where can they turn to seek refugee status?  They cannot do it from within the borders of Afghanistan; they cannot approach the Australian embassy because it was shut down when it became too dangerous for our embassy officials to stay there.  According to the Age, those who have relatives living in Australia can claim refugee status but only after applying in Melbourne.  There is no way they can claim to be refugees until they reach a safe country like Australia.

They are not queue jumpers because there is no queue … there is no structure or protocol available to them to claim refugee status in their own country.  It seems the only way to reach safety is to buy passage with the ‘people smugglers‘ or ‘scum of the earth‘ as Kevin Rudd calls them.

The boat that blew up last week was deemed seaworthy by our navy.  The people on board were not starving or otherwise mistreated.  They bought their passage knowing the risks of crossing the ocean in such a small craft.  Nobody kidnapped them or forced them to embark on that overcrowded boat – it was their desperation to flee the war at home.

The problem for the Australian government is the breakdown in border control caused by refugees arriving in Australian waters.  The Howard government responded so dramatically that they threw compassion overboard in their efforts to maintain their ‘sovereignty’ over our borders.  Remember John Howard’s statement along the lines of, “We will decide who comes to Australia”.  Let us hope this federal government shows more compassion than that.

The only way to alleviate the problem is to provide embassy access in  one of the countries they pass through on their flight from Afghanistan before they arrive in Australian waters.


Written by Greg Naylor

21 April 2009 at 12:30 am

Posted in PERSONAL

Tagged with

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Good post Greg. I sort-of agree about establishing embassy access on their way here but the only problem is they’d then be in that same queue they’re accused of jumping. It would mean a long wait and they’d have to be retained somewhere.

    As unfortunate as it is, I think the boat people scenario is just an inevitable fact of life and all we can do is deal with them fairly & compassionately when and if they make it here. Sort out the ‘duds’ by all means but by & large Australia has nothing to fear from these ‘new arrivals’ seeking a new start in the world’s best country.

    Ray Dixon (Bright)

    21 April 2009 at 12:26 pm

  2. wow, 40 people show up in a boat and Australia goes bezerk. Millions are refugees world wide, and we have the arrogance to get into a huff over forty unfortunates asking for asylum.


    21 April 2009 at 9:33 pm

  3. Compassion for boat people will only come when we learn to walk a mile in their shoes.


    22 April 2009 at 10:44 am

  4. […] Greg Naylor’s excellent perspective and attitude expressed in these two great posts titled: Afghan refugees deserve our compassion & We need better refugee […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: