Thursday, November 13. 2008
As is well known, on 30 September 2008 the first unauthorized boat arrivals of the Rudd Government era were intercepted by the Australian Navy off the coast of Western Australia and taken to Christmas Island. The boat, which had departed from Indonesia, carried 12 passengers included nine Afghans. A week later a second boat came from Indonesia carrying 14 Afghan passengers. It too was intercepted off the Western Australian coast and its passengers taken to Christmas Island. It appears that all of the individuals have made protection claims which are being considered pursuant to the non-statutory process which applies in excised offshore places. Not so well known is the fact that many more individuals attempting to make their way to Australia in an irregular fashion are being intercepted in Indonesia through the joint efforts of the Indonesian and Australian governments. Since about 2000, Australia, Indonesia and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have had in place the Regional Cooperation Model (RCM). Pursuant to this arrangement, intercepted individuals are supposed to be turned over into the care of the IOM. If any of them indicate that they are asylum seekers, they are supposed to be referred by IOM to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for determination of their protection claims.
Continue reading "Redressing the accountability deficit in an era of offshore borders"