Professor Gillian Triggs is the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission and prior to this she had several other roles including Dean of the Faculty of Law, Challis Professor of International Law at University of Sydney (2007-12), Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (2005-07), Barrister with Seven Wentworth Chambers and a Governor of the College of Law. In this article she focuses on the concerns about Australia’s mandatory immigration detention system, conveying the Human Rights Commission into this matter and the stance taken.
Triggs’ article recounts personal experiences of visiting these detention centres, giving vivid detail on the prison like state of many facilities. She seeks to remind us of who asylum seekers are, and how these facilities can have a great impact on the physically and mentally. However her ongoing association with the Human Rights Commission, how they’ve have ‘raised concerns over many years’ and ‘work to promote and protect the human rights of people held in detention through a number of functions’ conveyed this tone that they are doing all that they can. Whilst I agree that the Human Rights Commission serves an important role, I feel that they hold a great deal of power in regards tot his issue cane canon simply keep accusing the government. In a sense i simplify the issue to be along that lines of ‘we want to do something and believe that we should but can’t’.
Linda Leung, Cath Finney Lamb and Liz Emrys article also explores the living conditions within mandatory detention centres but hones in on the aspect of technology. Unlike many scholarly articles around this issue, this article is very specific in its focus and thus unveils detailed insights into the role of technology in marginalised communities.
They highlight the role of technology across the three settings of displacement, detention and settlement as a means of keeping in contact with family and loved ones. Conversely through personal refugee stories they show how the lack of access to technology can act as a deterrent to maintaining well being, and often causes emotional distress through uncertainty and isolation. This article stands as a factual piece exploring the laws, policies and use of technology. However through the personal tone, the authors are able to raise this need to challenge the existing system and provide access to technology for communication. Critically looking at the existing detention centre, they identify the mistreatment of refugees and asylum seekers, much like Triggs’ articles. However their exploration of the role of communication in the journey of a refugee is articulate well, presenting all sides to develop a cohesive argument.
Triggs, G. 2013, Why we need an end to mandatory detention, Refugee and Asylum Seekers: Finding a better way, pp.38-41.
Leung, L. Lamb, C. & Emrys, L. 2009,The use of technology by Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Technology’s Refugee, pp.1-43.