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Launch of Report: 'Beyond the Boats: Building an Asylum and Refugee Policy for the Long Term'

5 November 2014
2.00pm – 3.00pm AEDT
Parliament House, Canberra
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Launch of Report: 'Beyond the Boats: Building an Asylum and Refugee Policy for the Long Term'

The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, in partnership with Australia21, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), launched the report Beyond the Boats: Building an Asylum and Refugee Policy for the Long Term.  The report was launched by the Hon Fred Chaney AO, Senior Australian of the Year and hosted by Russell Broadbent MP in Parliament House Canberra on Wednesday 5 November 2014.

The report results from a high-level expert roundtable on asylum and refugee policy held at Parliament House in July.

Now that the acute phase of boat arrivals appears over, Beyond the boats urges all parties to use this opportunity to construct an overarching national asylum and refugee policy for the long term.

Key recommendations include increasing Australia's humanitarian intake, phasing out mandatory detention apart from initial screening and establishing a regional Track II dialogue.

The nine-point framework presented focuses on managing arrivals, conditions and treatment, and regional and community engagement. To make an immediate and appreciable difference the report recommends expanding pathways for humanitarian settlement, such as via orderly departure arrangements, swift determination of claims and improved conditions including work rights and transitioning away from mandatory detention. In addition, a regional Track II dialogue on forced migration is proposed to help officials to look beyond electoral cycles.

The recommendations recognise the broad framework of existing refugee policy commands cross party support, but seeks to build on this to provide a more constructive and humane way forward that is consistent with Australian values.

A diverse group of 35 policymakers and experts participated in the roundtable, including ALP, Liberal Party and Greens parliamentarians, former Indonesian Ambassador Wiryono Sastrohandoyo, Malaysian strategist Steven Wong, former UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller, former Immigration Minister the Hon Ian Macphee, former Chief of Defence Force Admiral Chris Barrie, Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers member Paris Aristotle and Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst David Lang.

Read the report and see the media release.

The report was discussed on ABC NEWS AM with Chris Uhlmann and 'Now we've stopped the boats, what next?', Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 2014.