Australia’s Rudd Wins Race to the Bottom on Asylum Policy

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s recently announced asylum policy made headlines around the world. The approach is punitive, insisting that no asylum-seeker who arrives in Australia by boat without a visa will ever be settled there. Instead, asylum-seekers’ claims will be processed in Papua New Guinea; if successful, that is where they will be resettled. The policy also comes against the backdrop of a steady increase in boat arrivals, or irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs) in the language of Australian bureaucracy. In 2010-2011 there were 4,750 IMAs, while in 2011-2012 there were 8,092. Current estimates are for even more during 2012-2013. […]

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