Today, Human Rights Watch writer, Elaine Pearson, discussed what the new Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, should do to address the treatment of asylum seekers.
Abbott, a member of the country's Liberal party, won the election on September 7th against incumbent Kevin Rudd. The new Liberal-National Coalition government has the opportunity to improve the country's immigration processing centers, or continue its "race to [the] bottom" in refugee/asylum seeker policies.
Pearson provides an interesting look at the current situation. With the new government in place, it is the perfect time to alter policies... however the question remains: Will they?
"A more effective and humane solution would be to encourage more neighboring countries to adhere to international law and adopt the 1951 Refugee Convention and help them develop their capacity to protect refugees. On September 9, the United Nations human rights chief urged Australia, a party to the treaty, to follow the spirit and letter of the Refugee Convention."