The Government of Australia has a new campaign designed to use propaganda to discourage refugees from seeking safe haven in Australia. The campaign, even more than most propaganda, is the exact opposite of the truth. “The rules have changed. Check the facts,” says the campaign, supposedly referring to facts about how difficult it now is to obtain asylum in Australia. But here are the real facts:
FACT: Australia has a binding legal obligation under international law to accept bona fide refugees.
FACT: All people have a right to apply for asylum, to have due legal process to have their cases decided, and the manner of their arrival cannot be held against them. (See the Geneva Conventions and Protocol)
FACT: Australia is violating international law, human rights, and agreements they have signed by having their navy intercept and turn around refugee ships at sea.
Irony of ironies, the ad campaign says that human smugglers are lying to the refugees, but it’s the Australian government that is, in fact, lying not only to the refugees but to the world.