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A Just Australia 2002-2009 archival site. Please see our new website at
Please note that the views on this archival site do not necessarily reflect the views of the Refugee Council of Australia
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Our principles

Our values

A Just Australia believes that the following values should inform all policy decisions.

Respect For each other, for human rights and the rule of law.

Compassion Awareness of the suffering of others and wanting to do something about it.

Generosity Giving your money, time or skills to those in need.

IntegrityPutting your values and principals in action.

Fair-goTreating people equally regardless of background and being prepared to stand up when others donít.

Our policy principles

We propose the following principles for good policy and practice towards asylum seekers.

1. Australia has a legal responsibility to regulate and decide the entry of people into Australia. This responsibility must be exercised in accordance with its other legal responsibilities and standards of fundamental decency, including its human rights obligations.

2. Australia will accord to refugees and asylum seekers all their rights and entitlements under relevant international laws, including under the Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against Torture. People will not be subjected to mistreatment in order to deter others from seeking asylum in Australia

3. Refugees and asylum seekers who are intercepted on their way to Australia will be treated with respect for their dignity and not be subjected to physical violence or threats of physical violence. They will not be forcibly diverted to third countries. They will be brought to mainland Australia to have their claims processed in accordance with the law.

4. Refugees and asylum seekers will not be detained arbitrarily, and will not be detained indefinitely. Asylum seekers should only be detained for an initial health and security assessment period unless individually assessed, subject to judicial review, as requiring to be detained on grounds of public health, public safety or public security. Any immigration facility will reflect a humanitarian approach with genuine oversight by welfare and human rights bodies.

Children and their families will not be housed in detention centres.

5. Determinations will be fair. Decision-makers will receive better training, so that refugee status decisions are more fair and standardised. Asylum seekers will have the same rights to review of official decisions as any other person within Australia.

6. All refugees will be granted permanent protection. Proven refugees will be granted permanent protection, not left in a limbo of renewing temporary visas.

7. Removals will occur only in safety and dignity. Not all asylum seekers are entitled to refugee status. Those who do not gain refugee status will be assessed against other humanitarian and human rights criteria before removal. Assessments will be made of the circumstances of those who are not able to return safely, and determinations made on the basis of law, safety and common sense. Removees will have access to counselling services to assist in reintegration.

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