Quarterly Essay 13
Sending Them Home: Refugees and the New Politics of Indifference
Robert Manne with David Corlett
- Release Date:
- December 2003
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In the first Quarterly Essay of 2004, Robert Manne tells the stories of individual asylum seekers and finds in their experience the seeds of a devastating critique. Balancing sorrow and pity with a controlled anger, Manne develops a sustained argument about what could, and should, be done for the nine thousand refugees who remain in limbo on temporary protection visas. Sending Them Home also contains a groundbreaking account of conditions in the offshore processing camps on Nauru, whose operations have until now been shrouded in secrecy, and a damning forensic investigation of the recent efforts to return - frequently against their will - many of those who sought our protection and whose countries remain in turmoil. Combining ethical reflection and acute political analysis, this essay initiates a new phase in the refugee debate.
"No one ought to pretend that the unanticipated arrival of the Iraqis, Afghans and Iranians did not pose real ... problems for Australia. However these problems arose not because these people were not genuine refugees. They arose, rather, precisely because the overwhelming majority of them were." —Robert Manne, Sending Them Home
This issue also contains correspondence relating to the previous issue QE12 Made in England by David Malouf. Correspondence relating to QE13 Sending Them Home will appear in the next issue.