White Australia policy
Main article: White Australia policy
The White Australia policy, the policy of limiting immigration into Australia to only people of European origin, was the official policy of all governments and all mainstream political parties in Australia from the 1890s to the 1950s, and elements of the policy survived until the 1970s. Although the expression “White Australia Policy” was never in official use, it was common in political and public debate throughout the period.
The term 'mandatory detention' describes the legislation and actions of the Australian government to detain all persons entering the country without a valid visa, including children. The policy started under the Hawke Labor government with the passing of the Migration Amendment Act in 1992. The immigration minister, Gerry Hand, explained that the policy, to be applied on a case-by-case basis would facilitate the processing of refugee claims, prevent de facto migration and save the cost of locating people in the community. However the Migration Reform Act of 1994 introduced by the next immigration minister, Senator Nick Bolkus, made the detention of 'unlawful non-citizens' mandatory
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, these unauthorised arrivals, popularly referred to as boat people, were transferred to one of the Australian immigration detention facilities on the Australian mainland, or to Manus Island or Nauru as part of the Pacific Solution.
Suspension of Asylum Claims: Sri Lanka and Afghanistan
On 9 April 2010 the Australian government announced the immediate suspension of consideration of all new asylum claims in respect of people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention
The then HREOC held an inquiry into mandatory detention and found that many basic rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child were denied to children living in immigration detention.
The Inquiry has found that...