14 May 2008
"No one will lament the end of the TPV regime, a clearly failed policy which damaged the mental health of refugees needing protection and left vulnerable families separated for years" said Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council.
At the same time the Council expressed concern at the decision of the Immigration Minister not to exercise his discretion to prevent the deportation of some failed asylum seekers.
The Council has long argued on behalf of people who have humanitarian protection needs that are covered by International conventions other than the Refugee Convention. The Refugee Review Tribunal does not have the power to act in such cases and an appeal to the minister is the only option for some asylum seekers who may have suffered torture, violence, trafficking or mental illness.
The Refugee Council supports the call for a review of the current system of ministerial intervention to ensure a humane, transparent and fair process of dealing with asylum seekers in genuine need of protection.
Similar reactions and concerns have been expressed by other refugee advocacy groups such as A Just Australia