Dear Prime Minister,
What is your response to the article titled 'Australia's refugee policy is a failure. This is not the time to shirk responsibility' by Thomas Albrecht, the UNHCR regional representative in Canberra?
In the article, Albrecht directly criticises Australia's policy to people arriving by boat as setting a 'destructive and dangerous precedent' and reminds us that 'Australia's obligation to people fleeing persecution, just as with any country in the world, is the same whether they arrive by air or sea. ... there is a false and disingenuous logic in saving people at sea, only to then mistreat them on land.'
'The consequences of open-ended mandatory detention, inadequate conditions and indefinite limbo, are devastating, yet predictable. For years now, UNHCR and others have highlighted the overwhelmingly negative toll on human lives, while the policy grinds on.'
This article is a direct challenge to Australia, by a representative of the highest authority on refugees, to immediately change Australia's policy and provide relief and care to those who are still suffering under it. Your response is needed urgently, Prime Minister.