Give us your poor… as long as they’re educated and from nice places

photo of a sudanese refugee Image: crizk

Kevin Andrews has said that Austrlaia would cut its intake of African refugees. Why? Apparently, because they're poor, uneducated, and come from war-torn backgrounds:

“They tend to have more problems and challenges associated with them. Their level of education, for example, is a lot lower than for any other group of refugees,” he said.

“They've been in war-torn conflict for a decade, many of them. Many are young . . . and many have been in refugee camps for decades.

It doesn't make much sense to me to acknowledge you have a problem . . . but not actually slow down the rate of intake until you've dealt with it,” he said.

This is absolutely ridiculous. You can't pretend to be fulfilling your international obligations to accept refugees, but pick and choose on the basis that you only want educated refugees who HAVEN'T come from decades of war-torn conflict.

If refugees have problems 'integrating' into Australian society, the fault lies with us. The convention requires that we accept people who have a well founded fear of persecution. It does not mention that we can legitimately separate persecuted groups into those who are rich and educated and those who are not.

Lets either stop pretending that we're compliant with our international obligations, or actually give effect to the principle that people who have a well founded fear of persecution are entitled to protection.