An excerpt from the
AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION SUBMISSION TO THE
SENATE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEES in this inquiry..
Over the last decade the Commission has undertaken extensive work in the area of Australian law, policy and practice relating to asylum seekers, refugees and immigration detention. This has involved conducting national inquiries, examining proposed legislation, monitoring and reporting on immigration detention and investigating complaints from individuals subject to Australia’s immigration laws and policies. More specifically, the Commission’s work in this area has included engagement regarding the health and mental health impacts of prolonged and indefinite immigration detention and the risk of breaches of Australia’s human rights obligations posed by third-country arrangements for the processing of asylum seekers’ claims.This submissiondraws upon that body of work.
On 18 August 2012, the Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Act 2012 (Cth) commenced, amending the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) and the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 (Cth). The amendments allow the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship to make a further legislative instrument which designates a country as a ‘regional processing country’ to which asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia’s ‘excised offshore territory’ on or after 13 August 2012 will be sent
for the processing of their protection claims. In exercising this power, the only condition is that the Minister thinks the designation is in the national interest.
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