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In Clip 8, Catherine, Angry and Peter visit Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre where they see the facilities and meet some of the detained refugee asylum seekers. Seventeen thousand asylum seekers have been processed here in the last four years.
Attitudes, Ethics and Citizenship
Imagine you are Hamid and you have arrived at Christmas Island. For the first time in months, you are able to call your wife and family in Kabul. Write the transcript of the conversation in which you describe your journey, the conditions in the detention centre, how you feel and what you think will happen next.
Although detainees may have access to facilities such as a gym and the internet, they are still in limbo, unable to leave the detention centre and begin a new life in Australia. They have no idea whether they will stay in detention for a few months or a few years. How would you feel if you were in this situation?
In the following article, Refugee Week Ambassador Widyan Al-Ubudy writes about her experiences visiting detainees in Villawood Detention Centre. Read her article and write you felt afterwards.
Democracy, Duty and National Values
Australia is the only country in the world with a policy of mandatory detention for all asylum seekers who arrive without a visa. Many organisations, including the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), have criticised this policy and believe there are more humane ways of processing refugees and asylum seekers.
a. Do you agree with the policy of mandatory detention?
b. What effects do you think this policy has on people like Abdi and Hamid?
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) does not make public the criteria they use for security assessments for refugees. If a refugee is given a negative security assessment, the result is indefinite detention. They are not told on what evidence the decision is based nor is there an appeals process to challenge the decision.
a. This policy has recently come under much scrutiny. Research and outline what has been said about this policy.
b. In your opinion, why does ASIO not make public the criteria they use to
c. Do you agree with this?
In a report on alternatives to detention centres, The Australian Human Rights Commission made many observations about the effectiveness of community detention. Outline the benefits associated with community placement highlighted by both the Commission and those in community detention.
YOUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY
Human Rights, World Issues and Responsibilities
The UNHCR outlines Guidelines to Standards Relating to the Detention of Asylum Seekers. Refer to this document and make a list of the headings of the nine guidelines.
Earlier this year, Amnesty International conducted a session called Live Q+A: Inside Australia’s Detention Centres on Facebook. Read these questions and answers. Make a list of five things you learn about detention centres in Australia from this Q+A.
In 2012, the International Detention Coalition released a report into children in immigration detention around the world, with Australia as one of the feature countries. Read this Executive Summary of the report, and list the key points made.
A report from Parliament House Australia addresses the questions relating to facts about asylum seekers and refugees. Go to the section ‘Are boat arrivals genuine refugees?’ What are the three findings stated in response to this question?
Conditions in Immigration Detention Centres
Security assessments of refugees
Alternatives to detention