Unwarranted cruelty

Sep 1st, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Chris Goddard, Susie Latham and Linda Briskman: There have been highs and lows, heroes and villains, in Australia’s treatment of refugees. In recent years, the heroes have been hard to find. This is why, in Human Rights Overboard, published this week, we are calling for a royal commission into every aspect of immigration policy.

During the 1970s, thousands of Vietnamese arrived in Australia by boat. The country responded with humanity. In 1992, the Keating Labor government set in train a process that was to lead to Australia displaying a darker side. A system of mandatory detention was established, with asylum-seekers locked up without trial.

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