multicultural Hot Words

Making multicultural Australia

Search the complete site: ... Sitemap » ... Links to other sites »

multicultural Hotwords »

Hotword: Mandatory Detention...

thumbnail

Mandatory Detention...

Definition

Australia's Migration Act 1958 requires that all non-Australians who are unlawfully in mainland Australia must be detained regardless of their age, sex, nationality or any other status. The detention requirement continues until the person is determined to have a lawful reason to remain in Australia or is removed from Australia. This is referred to as "mandatory detention".

Since 1994 government policy requires that all such people be detained in detention centres.

What makes it hot?

This term is hot because Australia is the only Western country that mandatorily detains asylum seekers whilst their claims are being heard. Sweden, for example, receives a similar numbers of asylum seekers as Australia, despite having less than half the population. Detention in Sweden is only used to establish a personís identity and to conduct criminal screening. Most detainees are released within a very short time, particularly if they have relatives or friends living in Sweden.

In Australia men, women and children asylum seekers are kept in detention centres for months and often for years while their claims are assessed. Community based alternatives to mandatory detention can be found internationally and within the current Australian parole system. These options would enable asylum seekers' claims to be assessed for legitimacy. They are also significantly less expensive and more humane.

Date Added:

28 March 2002