Successive Australian governments have boasted their success at “stopping the boats”  That is, they have stopped the boats arriving: we know they are still setting out, because our navy turn them back.

But are we saving any lives by stopping refugees from getting to Australia?  No, we are not.

Leave aside the refugees who are killed in detention (Reza Berati) or who die of medical neglect in detention (Hamid Khazaie) or who kill themselves in despair (Omid, just the other day, and others).

What happens to people who are deterred from fleeing to escape persecution and are killed by their persecutors.  Have a look.  Feel uncomfortable.  The main difference is that, if a boat sinks in Australian waters, we see it.  If people do not flee, and they are killed by their persecutors, we do not see them die:

Not drowning 8 Not drowning 7 Not drowning 6 Not drowning 5 Not drowning 1 Not drowning 4 Not drowning 9

 

 

 

 

Not drowning 3 Not drowning 2