Azaranica is a non-biased news aggregator on Hazaras and Hazarajat...The main aim is to promote understanding and respect for cultural identities by highlighting the realities they are facing on daily basis...Hazaras have been the victim of active persecution and discrimination and one of the reasons among many has been the lack of information, awareness and disinformation...... To further awareness against violence, disinformation and discrimination, we have launched a sister Blog for youths and youths are encouraged to share their stories and opinions; Young Pens

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Better life main reason for refugees' journey

Andrew Probyn, Nick Butterly
May 4, 2011


ECONOMIC deprivation rather than the fear of persecution is driving Afghan Hazaras to risk their lives to come to Australia, a previously secret government-commissioned report has found.
The Gillard government contracted a Kabul-based communications company to find out what people from the Afghan ethnic minority knew about the risks inherent in using people smugglers to get to Australia.
The report by Wise Strategic Communications, released under freedom of information laws, found that though the majority of Afghan Hazaras were aware of the dangers in making the treacherous journey by boat to Australia, only a few realised they also risked deportation and detention.

Wise, which conducted 50 interviews and 10 focus groups in Hazara enclaves in four Afghan provinces last year, found many respondents believed the risks of drowning and being ripped off by people smugglers were outweighed by the prospect of being accepted by Australia as refugees.
The $72,000 research discovered many Hazaras strongly believed that travelling to Australia practically guaranteed refugee status.
While the focus groups in Kabul found respondents largely rejected illegal immigration out of a sense of patriotic duty and the belief they should stay and assist the reconstruction of the country, those in poorer, less-educated areas believed leaving for Australia was a ''survival strategy'' worthy of the risk.
Of the 7668 unlawful arrivals by boat since January last year, 3306 were Afghan. In this period, only 83 have returned home - mostly voluntarily - including six Afghans.
The rejection rate for Afghan refugee claims is about 50 per cent - up from 10 per cent 18 months ago - but 70 per cent of those rejected have their refugee status confirmed on appeal.
''Lower-income classes feel their opportunities are virtually non-existent and that clandestine migration is their only option,'' the report says about those in Bamyan province.
''The vast majority of focus group participants from Ghazni regard migration to Australia as a livelihood strategy and coping mechanism to respond to social and economic needs.''
The report recommends the Australian government emphasise not only the safety risks from people smuggling but highlight the potential for repatriation and detention.
A spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, which ordered the Wise report, said the government was in the early stages of working with the Afghan government on a public information campaign about the dangers of people smuggling and human trafficking.
Meanwhile, the only rescue boat the Australian Federal Police had stationed on Christmas Island as last year's asylum-seeker tragedy unfolded has been declared unsafe for use in even moderately rough weather by the government's leading safety authority.
The AFP has revealed it was forced to slap severe restrictions on the use of its fleet of LeisureCat 8000 patrol boats after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority ruled the vessels were too heavy and could only operate in smooth seas.

Source,

http://www.smh.com.au/national/better-life-main-reason-for-refugees-journey-20110503-1e6ui.html

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