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Australia Detention Centre Deaths - Rising Asylum Seekers

October 2013, 30
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Australia
During the past financial year five persons have died in Australian detention centres. The annual report from the immigration department does not give the information about them being asylum seekers, but 83 percent of people who are in detention centres in Australia are asylum seekers who have arrived by boat.

The Queensland coroner investigated onto the death of asylum seeker Meqdad Hussain and this was mentioned in the 2012-2013 report. Meqdad Hussain committed suicide in Weipa at the Scherger Immigration detention centre on 17-03-2011. The department was planning to implement recommendations and create a ombudsman's  report on suicide attempts and self harm in Australian detention centres due to be out in May.

25,724 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat in 2012-2013, and detention centres already had 38,147 people help up, which was a huge rise in numbers from the 19,370 last year. People were suffering from ongoing mental illness and many claimed for compensation due to the harm they were suffering in immigration detention centres.

In the community detention centres in Australia 58 infants were born to parents seeking asylum. Detention centres have 1319 children out of which 318 minors are unaccompanied. While the demand for these visas had decreased in Queensland and WA, the highest growth rates for these visas are in South Australia and Tasmania where 457 visas were granted to 68,840 foreign workers. The 457 visa holders came from mainly these 4 countries: UK, Ireland, Philippines and India.

The number of students from India applying for visas decreased by 26.5 percent but there was an increase in Chinese students wanting to come to Australia by 9 percent.

Thousands of asylum seekers arriving to Canberra, Australia through Malaysia by boats has become a political headache for the government. A major survey conducted says that Australians are very negative about asylum seekers entering into their country. The survey also found that a huge amount of Australians think that being multi cultured is benefiting the country, and it has many economic benefits. 

On a question asked about multiculturalism and if its weakens or strengthens the standard of living, many Australians said that they think it gave more opportunities to migrants rather than Australian born people.

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