21 November 2018
The Prime Minister’s claim that the signing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration would compromise its immigration policy and border security is nonsense, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) says.
RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said the Global Compact is a non-binding, cooperative agreement which leaves nations which sign it with full freedom to implement its provisions in any way they see fit.
“It is ironic that the Australian Government, which has long argued that migration should be safe, orderly and regular, is now refusing to sign the first ever Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” Mr Power said.
“Throughout the two-year negotiation process, officials of the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs and Department of Foreign Affairs have been very active, having considerable influence over the wording of the Global Compact.
“In refusing to sign the Compact, Australia will join a small group of governments which are each trying to appeal to or appease minority far-right political movements within their countries.
“It is hard to see the Australian Government’s decision as anything other than posturing for some political gain, as the facts do not align with the Prime Minister’s claims.
“The Global Compact seeks to build international cooperation on migration matters, recognising the rights of people involved in migration and also the right of sovereign states to set their own policy.
“Any Australian who takes the time to read the Global Compact will be surprised by the political controversy about it, particularly when they see that the preamble clearly states its non-binding nature.
“We live in surprising times but who would ever have believed that an Australian Government would oppose a compact on safe, orderly and regular migration?”
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is the national peak body for refugees and the organisations and individuals who support them.
Media contact: Frankie Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0488 035 535