Australia is all set to increase its current refugee intake to around 50,000 per year. This includes 10,000 refugees under a new category called ‘skilled refugee’ policy. This policy offers the asylum seekers a ‘dignity package’ which is different from the Australian work permit in many ways.
The policy has been designed to put a damper on human smugglers or thwart the attempts to arrive Australia by any means including boats.
Australia ready to shut down its detention center
The various offshore detention centers would be shut down on Manus Island, Nauru among others. This should save the government, an estimated $2.9 billion over a period of four years. These savings will be re-invested in a fairer system to help many more people in ways that the Australian work permit cannot.
The policy designed for the asylum seekers will be introduced in the Labor seat of Batman in Melbourne. Batman is a possible gain when it comes to elections, so this could be one of the reasons for it being selected for implementing the new policy. Of course, there’s bound to be some condemnation by the Coalition as well as from Labor. Senator Hanson-Young rejects the criticism that the people smugglers will recommence trade between Indonesia, Christmas Island among others and would be encouraged due to the new policy.
There are several reasons for the detention centers to be shut down as it causes asylum seekers to suffer. The Nauru and Manus Island are not safe for women too. There have been cases like where a woman while suffering an epileptic seizure was taken and raped.
The islands and detention centers are gulags. People cannot be left there languishing, especially women.
The policy is a viable alternative to the Australian work permit
People can work directly with the Australian authorities with this policy; which gives people a working alternative. People will not need to pay people smugglers to transport them to Australia for work, or seek asylum, because they did not get the Australian work permit. People will make use of the alternative and work directly with the Australian government and authorities to arrive in Australia.
Australia’s refugee intake would increase from 13,750 to 50,000 a year, under the policy. Organizations like the United Nations refugee agency would be provided with $500 million over four years in the region. The refugees or asylum seekers would be given a “dignity package”.
The dignity package is different from the Australian work permit as it aims to help those seeking asylum access some of the facilities like education, healthcare, English classes as well as the work permit. There will be some other changes in restoring the former role of the Immigration Department, and eliminate temporary protection visas.