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The bipartisan shame of refugee policy

Frank Brennan |  30 August 2017

What possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s demand that Australia terminate offshore processing of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island and that we not outsource our responsibilities to others.

NAIDOC Week 2017 posterHe claimed that UNHCR had agreed to the Australia-US deal back in November 2016 ‘on the clear understanding that vulnerable refugees with close family ties in Australia would ultimately be allowed to settle’ here. It is very rare for the Commissioner himself to make such public criticisms of any country.


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