With the lifting of the suspension on the processing of asylum seeker visas, the biggest beneficiaries are the individuals detained in the many centers throughout Australia. While many benefit, the over seven hundred children in detention can now hope to start a new life. Others though the suffering continues.
Many quarters have been vociferous critics of the ban. They have called it a breach of Australia’s obligations and have been said to be an act undermining the very foundations that the country stand for such as justice, fairness and protection of the vulnerable.
In 2007, the Labor party assured the electorate that detention would be the last resort for these people seeking entry into the country illegally. This was the policy of its predecessor and was vehemently denounced as many of those detained were families and children. That election promise carried the Labor Party to power.
Disappointingly, the new government claims that it did not detain these would-be immigrants but in truth and in fact it did. While then Immigration Minister Chris Evans said that the Labor Party did not lock up children nor place them behind razor wire, the harsh reality is the processing freeze and the lack of existing agreements with other countries force Australia to keep these asylum seekers cordoned off from the general populace.
Such is the story of a sixteen-year-old Afghan boy who was orphaned in his escape from the Taliban from his homeland. He is alone, not having spoken to any family member since his escape and now with the future prospects on hold, his trauma deepens. He has attempted suicide four times and no facilities have been provided him to cope with his experiences. He now faces indefinite detention and has no hope in the near future of the light at the end of his tunnel.
He sums it up, “even if a cage is made of gold, it is still a cage.” So through this all, the children suffer the most. The restriction of his movement in a detention center and the boredom of isolation only make him more vulnerable and most likely to become a much more traumatized. What many do not realize is that asylum seekers, be it a man, woman or child is a victim of persecution and torture. Prolonging their agony only adds on to their suffering.