Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Boat People

What is the deal with all these people trying to get to Australia in the most dangerous way possible? Why is the government locking them up on foreign islands? Why don't they go through the proper channels? Why are people so passionate about this topic?

In our first episode we try to tackle one of the biggest issues facing Australia today. Our expert is Emily Howie, a human rights lawyer who has spent time in Sri Lanka investigating people returned from Australia, researching politicians and discovering the truth about why people would leave.

To listen, just click the play button above, download this episode from iTunes or you can download it directly.


We're building a glossary of terms to help people understand everything spoken about in each episode.

Terms are listed in order of importance and not alphabetically.

This is what you need to know:

Migration Zone
a piece of land belonging to a country upon which someone can stand, request refuge, and then not be moved off-shore until their refugee status has been process and approved or denied.
any part of Australia that is not the mainland or many of our islands.
Tasmania and probably New Zealand.
Papua New Guinea
Australia's nearest neighbour to the north (or anywhere), has a population of 7.014 million, its main languages are English, Tok Pisin and Hiri Motu, its currency is the Kina and as of 19 July this year, its the lucky recipient of all who approach Australian waters by boat and are caught.
a place where the Australian government suggests tourists practice a high degree of caution because of high crime rates, car jacking, gang rape and endemic cholera.
New Zealand
Not actually a part of Australia
Boat people
people who leave their own country and try to arrive in Australia by boat. See ten pound pom.
Boat shoes
Generally worn without socks by gentlemen in Brighton on a weekend.