More rejected due to Lanka’s improved political conditions - UNHCR

Wednesday, 22 December 2010 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says improved political conditions in Sri Lanka is one of the reasons that led to the jump in the number of rejected cases of asylum seekers in Australia, who should be sent home.

Regional representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Richard Towle says large numbers of people now coming through the asylum system in Australia are not refugees and “the challenge is how to find fair and humane, and effective ways of allowing them to leave this country to go home”, quoting Towle, Australia’s Fairfax newspaper reported.  The deportation of failed asylum seekers has already been announced as central to the Australian government’s efforts to stem the flow of boats.

So far, however, only a handful of asylum seekers have been deported. The Australian government is believed to be examining further incentives for people to return home, Fairfax reported.

Towle also called for greater regional co-operation and improved conditions in South-East Asia to prevent asylum seekers from making the perilous voyage from Indonesia. He said the problem has little to do with Australia’s border protection policies, but rather a “protection vacuum” throughout the region that has been forcing people to risk their lives on unseaworthy vessels.