POLITICS

Waleed Aly Slams Australia's 'Poisonous' Refugee Policy In Scathing New York Times Op Ed

'We have traded a boat problem for a resettlement one.'

27/10/2016 1:48 PM AEDT | Updated 27/10/2016 4:07 PM AEDT
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'So Australia's detention regime becomes virtuous, brutality repackaged as compassion.'

Waleed Aly has slammed Australia's offshore processing policies, saying the country has "traded a boat problem for a resettlement one".

This time The Project co-host publicly criticised the federal government's asylum seeker policies on the global stage, in an opinion piece for The NY Times instead of his now famous Something We Should Talk About segment.

Despite an Amnesty International report deeming the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island amounted to torture, Aly said politicians are not addressing the claims any further than denying them because not enough Australians care.

"None of it registers because as long as boats carrying asylum seekers aren't making it to Australia, all is justified," Aly wrote.

"So Australia's detention regime becomes virtuous, brutality repackaged as compassion. Those languishing in detention centres, even the people who die there thanks to violence or woefully inadequate medical care for simple afflictions, they're just a warning to others who might be tempted onto a boat."

The Project co-host said the Australian government is using the more than 1200 people currently in offshore processing detention centres "as a deterrent".

"We sacrifice the lives of innocent people to dissuade others from risking theirs."

But the biggest harm the policies are doing is lowering global standards on refugee policies, allowing other countries to develop harsher legislation and justify it.

After the Amnesty International report came out last week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the Coalition's asylum seeker policies were "strong and compassionate".

Both major parties now support offshore processing and moving detainees to a third country. However, Labor have criticised the Coalition for taking too long to move the detainees on Nauru and Manus Island to a third country like Cambodia.

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