There are many people around Australia who are under the immigration detention facilities and have been there for longer period of time.
Over a number of years, refugees have played a very important role in the economic, cultural and social fabric of the country. Immigrants across the world have actually enriched the social structure of the country as a whole. According to a report, the number of immigrants being held in detention has increased a lot over the past few years. These immigrants are being held for quite a longer period of time. About 70% of them have been detained for more than six months and about 30% have been detained for more than 12 months.
It is important to note that most of these detained immigrants to Australia have come to this country to seek asylum. They have migrated to this place for the purpose of protection. And most of those refugees are genuine.
Several refugees are detained for very longer period of time. Australian immigration detention policy is very strict where there is no fixed duration for detention and the detainees cannot challenge the need for their detention to a court.
The Human Rights Commission of Australia has been monitoring the facilities for immigration detention for years. In the last year, it has visited the facilities on Christmas Island, in Darwin, Leonora, Villawood and Curtin.
In recent times, 5 people have committed suicide in immigration detention. Apart from this, there are several disturbing incidents of self-harm happening across the network of immigration detention, such as: hanging attempt, lip-sewing, chemical ingestion, people hurting themselves and intended starvation.
Detained people are living in a very frustrated and distressed situation, as they are detained for very longer period of time. Moreover, they have no idea about when they will be free from this frustrating situation. During detention, the detainees are kept away from their family members and it resulted higher degree of depression in them.
In order to help people to get out of this trauma, the Immigration Minister of Australia has approved more than1300 families with placement opportunity along with unaccompanied minors in community custody.
This significant step will keep away a large numbers of people from harmful environment of immigration detention. At a minimum level it should be extended to cover the greater number of other susceptible groups like survivors of torture & trauma and weak mental health people.
However, the community-based alternatives in Australia can be less expensive and more effective. They are more humane rather than holding people for prolong period in immigration detention. They actually motivate the government to make use of all feasible alternatives, such as community detention and bridging visas.
In Australia, comparatively there is small population of asylum seekers. Most of those asylum seekers are able to be live in the community during the assessment of their applications.
According to the policy of the Australian Government, immigrants can’t be detained for the duration of their application process. They can be detained only for the initial checks.