Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The end of mandatory detention

Since the 1990's, Australia has pursued a policy of automatically detaining all asylum seekers in an effort to deter refugee claims. The policy breached UNHCR guidelines, clearly violated the intent of the Refugee Convention, and attracted strong criticism from international human rights groups. Now, the Australian government has abandoned it. It's a massive victory for human rights, and another sign of how elections matter. Under Howard, Australia was a racist, xenophobic place. Under Rudd, its at least no longer government policy.