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The Fifth Estate

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Safe Harbour

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In the past decade, Australia’s stance towards asylum seekers has changed radically. No longer assumed to be refugees fleeing persecution, asylum seekers are now often described as 'illegal immigrants'.

In recent weeks, there have been allegations that both major parties have paid people smugglers to return asylum seekers to Indonesian shores. The federal government has come in for particular criticism, with detention centre workers resigning in protest against poor conditions. There have been ongoing accusations, too, that Australian asylum seeker policies breach United Nations conventions. The newly created Border Force, merging the frontline operations of Customs and Immigration, has taken charge of Operation Sovereign Borders – where information regarding 'on water matters' is withheld from journalists.

As the number of refugees and displaced peoples increases around the world, Australia's policies will gain increasing international attention. Join host Sally Warhaft with David Manne, Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, and Mariam Veiszadeh, human rights lawyer and 'proud refugee', for a conversation about seeking asylum, politics and Australia.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.