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  • Published 20150203
  • ISBN: 9781922182678
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IT IS EASY to hide people in the vast expanse of Western Australia. The state stretches thousands of kilometres, from the sweltering north to the cold winds of the rugged south, and extends to remote islands far off the coast such as Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, 2,600 kilometres north-west of Perth. There are plenty of places to lock people up and keep them hidden from view.

For more than twenty years, Australian legislation has enabled the mandatory detention of people who arrive here without a valid visa. This includes asylum seekers who make it to Australia by boat in the hope of finding a safe haven. Mandatory detention means they can be held until their refugee protection claims have been finalised, even if it takes years. This is despite the fact that Department of Immigration figures show the vast majority are eventually found to be refugees who cannot safely return home.

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About the author

Caroline Fleay

Caroline Fleay is a senior lecturer at the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University.

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