04 August 2008

Psychological society supports new Australian immigration policy

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) announced it fully supports the new anti-detention policy for asylum seekers in Australia, reports Medical News Today. Last week, Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans detailed the new direction for Australian immigration after an extensive review into the treatment of asylum seekers showed the previous Howard government was unnecessarily detaining harmless people, which caused severe psychological damage.

The Rudd Government has decided to detain only those refugees who are deemed a threat to the security of the community or are at risk of absconding.  All others, especially children, will be allowed to remain in society until their case has been reviewed. 

The APS said the review relied heavily upon psychological research that highlighted the long-term effects of mandatory detention for asylum seekers.  APS President Amanda Gordon said, "The Australian Psychological Society will continue to work with the Department to ensure that those people who are placed in detention as a last resort receive humane treatment and support for the time that they are detained."

Senator Evans has made several changes to the immigration system this year, including an expansion to the skilled migration program, increases in the minimum salary level for overseas workers, extensions to the working holiday visa program and developing ground-level support systems for immigrant families and individuals.  The Minister is working closely with state and territory governments and employers to attract the right overseas workers to move to Australia so demands in the workforce can be met.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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