16 June 2010

Australian Immigration department using YouTube to highlight dangers of people smugglers

A new Australian Government YouTube channel is proving a successful tool to reach asylum seekers’ families and friends in Australia to highlight the dangers and grim realities of engaging with people smugglers.

The channel, No to People Smuggling (www.youtube.com/user/notopeoplesmuggling), is the Australian Immigration Department’s second foray into using YouTube to communicate to the public. The ImmiTV channel (www.youtube.com/ImmiTV) was launched two years ago.

“No to People Smuggling aims to raise awareness and educate communities within Australia about the dangers and uncertainties of using people smugglers,” a Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) spokesman said.

The channel allows people to watch and hear detailed accounts taken from those who have risked their lives and those of their families to undertake the treacherous journey to Australia. The stories detail the grave dangers faced on the open seas in small and often unseaworthy boats, with no guarantee of reaching Australia or being granted asylum.

“Communities in Australia can share these stories with friends and relatives overseas at risk of engaging with people smugglers,” the spokesman said.

The grim realities of people smuggling was seen in May this year when five lives were lost at sea from an Australian-bound vessel.

There are safe and lawful Australian Visa options for people wanting to resettle in Australia, including sponsorship by relatives already here.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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