Recently, I watched The Deep Blue Sea, a haunting documentary that chronicles the journey of Australian barrister and human rights activist Jessie Taylor to Indonesia in an attempt to reveal the untold stories of asylum seekers.
Although the film evokes human sensibilities and without a doubt powerful, it left me feeling powerless. There is no one-off solution. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to refugees. Of course, there are many people who need a safe place to stay in varying degrees but who decides how many or how frequent the country should accept refugees? It’s a tough decision, I wouldn’t want to be a policy maker. If speaking from a purely humanitarian point of view, each person has the right to have a safe and secure home and it is not illegal to seek refuge in Australia. Therefore, refugees have the right to appeal to the Australian government and can be resettled here depending on their circumstances. There are a multitude of factors to consider. Exactly how many refugees per year can Australia accommodate or rather, how many asylum seekers is Australia willing to accommodate?
How much is enough? How much is enough if we’re talking about making a decision that will dictate the fate of our fellow men? How much is enough?
Being a migrant myself, I grew up listening to adults talk about corrupt government officials in a third-world country. It is no surprise that in countries such as Indonesia, the living conditions for refugees waiting for resettlement in Australia is appalling and severely dangerous for their health.
I believe there should be more discussion on how to remedy the root of this dilemma – people are not safe in their home country. Why is that? How could we change that?