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It is regrettable, but not altogether surprising, to find Australia opting to stay away from the Global Compact on Migration.

Its opt out will have little if any impact on the resolve of the vast majority of other States to move towards putting the movement of people on a more orderly, humane and managed basis. Like it or not, Australia’s international standing is now seriously diminished, as its ineffectual presence on the Human Rights Council and its failure to stand up against ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, for example, shows only too well.

It is difficult to know whether recent statements at the political level were driven by calculated ignorance or intentional disinformation, for what has been said about the Compact bears no resemblance at all to what is actually in the Compact. In these challenging times, we all need to beware of those who may be peddling unfounded apprehensions about the movements of people between States.

And the present Prime Minister might like to recall that Australia’s ‘second to none’ record on border protection is one of abuse, ill-treatment, suicide, self-harm, and the intentional destruction of childhood, all of which is well-documented and repeatedly confirmed in recent rulings on the medical evacuation of people sent offshore by Australia, and all of which has to be compensated, not from the pockets of those responsible, but by the people of Australia.

 

The Kaldor Centre plays a vital role in developing legal, sustainable and humane solutions for displaced people around the world.