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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Refugee Deal with Malaysia Unacceptable says UN


The Government's hopes of finalising a refugee swap with Malaysia looks likely to collapse after the UN said it was not informed in advance that unaccompanied children would be sent to Malaysia. Yesterday Chris Bowen confirmed on Lateline that unaccompanied children will be among the 800 people sent to Malaysia. This is causing a split in the ranks as several MP’s have said that Labor has lost its moral compass. Draft documents show that Malaysia has removed all references to human rights. Chris Bowen said "I don't want unaccompanied minors, I don't want children getting on boats to come to Australia thinking or knowing that there is some sort of exemption in place," he said. But the Geneva office of the UN issued a statement saying it could not support the deal unless changes are made.


Oh the irony, refugee lawyer Marion Le who once demanded the closure of the Nauru detention centre now wants it reopened. She was a huge critic of Howard’s Pacific Solution but told the ABC that it is a less costly solution than Malaysia and Australia would be in control over what happens to the people there. "Having been to Nauru myself three times at the height of the Pacific Solution, I would much rather see people taken to Nauru than I would to any of the other alternative places that Julia Gillard's come up with," she said.


So why won't the Prime Minister swallow her pride and admit that Nauru is the best solution for the country?