Australia’s new asylum policy aimed at cracking down on refugees
coming by boat has sparked much international controversy. Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott
recently introduced the new “military-led Operation Sovereign Borders.” This policy allows the Australian navy to turn
around any boat containing asylum seekers without giving them any chance of
having their refugee claims heard.
new policy made international headlines when a group of 56 asylum seekers from
Pakistan and Bangladesh were sent back to Indonesia by the Australian navy. The navy placed the refugees in an Australian
lifeboat near the Indonesian maritime border with a document stating they only
had enough fuel to make it back to Indonesia, and that any attempt to continue
their voyage towards Australia would be futile. The document went further to say that if the refugees
were to continue their voyage to Australia, then they would face harsh
penalties, including the possibility of jail.