The Australian Government announced on November 21, 2018 that it would not sign the UN Global Compact for Migration saying that the agreement would undermine its existing immigration policies.
Speaking on the decision, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the government believes that the Compact is inconsistent with its well-established policies and not in Australia’s interest.
1. According to the Australian government, the nation’s immigration policy already promotes safe, orderly and regular migration.
2. Hence, the government feels that adopting the pact would risk encouraging illegal entry to Australia and reverse the hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade.
3. Australia’s harsh immigration policy detains asylum-seekers who try to reach the country by boat on remote Pacific islands.
4. While the policy has led to a decline in people-smuggling, hundreds of people are now being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Some have been there for years.
5. The United Nations and human rights groups at home and abroad have criticised the nation’s approach and the government has been under pressure over the deteriorating health of the people, many of them children, imprisoned on the islands.
6. Australia has been under pressure to release detained child refugees