After being held in mandatory #detention in offshore processing centres in #Nauru and on #Manus Island in #PapuaNewGuinea, dozens of victims of Australia's inhumane refugee policy have been freed on temporary visas.
The detention centers in Nauru and Manus have long served as 'prisons' for #refugees trying to reach #Australia. Through the years the centers have become known for their deplorable conditions – mouldy accommodations, maggot-infested food, and bug infestations, which pose critical health concerns. The freedom of movement in the centers is limited, with refugees often being allowed to leave only for medical treatment.
However, the #visas that dozens of detainees of Nauru and Manus centers were issued this April, carry yet another set of obstacles for refugees trying to rebuild their live sin a safe country and integrate into the Australian community.
The visas are issued for a 6-month period only and carry restrictions on movement and work opportunities. Additionally, according to the ‘501’ legislation, the people who are on temporary visas can be placed back in detention for minor legal infringements or for even more vague reasons. There is also the expectation that they will use the time to prepare to leave the country – whether back to their country of origin or a third country, Al Jazeera reports.
Instead of being granted safety, many now live in a sort of a residential limbo, fearing deportation to their home countries where they would be persecuted, while facing financial insecurity in Australia. Such treatment only serves to further amplify the trauma of what many of the refugees have been through on their journey.
As the Greens Senator Nick McKim stated “This has been a humanitarian catastrophe at every turn and it’s one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters yet written in Australia’s national story. We should be treating people who stretch out a hand and ask us for help with compassion and decency, and also treating them in line with the international commitments that we’ve made.”