Amendment to migration law will cause serious harm

13th May 2021

New laws passed today that allow the Government to lock people in immigration detention indefinitely will cause serious harm, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“Locking up people indefinitely will clearly lead to a high risk of self-harm or suicide,” said Mr Greg Barns SC, spokesperson for the ALA. “It amounts to detention without trial and is a gross breach of Australia’s human rights obligations.”

The Migration Amendment (Clarifying International Obligations for Removal) Bill 2021 will affect asylum seekers in immigration detention who cannot return to their home countries because of a risk of persecution or serious harm, but their visa application has been rejected.

“The Government claims that this legislation adheres to Australia’s international human rights obligations because it stops people being forced back to their home country where they face persecution, but the alternative is now completely inhumane indefinite detention,” said Mr Barns SC.  

“This is cruel and unnecessary. The legislation must be revised to remove the Government’s power to keep people locked up indefinitely with no plan for their future.”

Tags: Asylum seekers and refugees