You are here

Asylum immigrants go back on holiday

The growing Somali community in the UK are going back on extended holdidays to Somalia - the country they claimed in the first place is so dangerous they want asylum. Female genital mutilation is also an issue.

Cultural and legal dissonance

A program on BBC TV's Newsnight on 24/7/12 looked at the growing Somali community in the UK and the frequent issue of (illegal) Female genital mutilation of children in the commnity. It compared (culturally sensitive Britain, and no doubt Canada too) with the Somali community in France. In France people are jailed for up to seven years for perpetrating this practice, but in the UK no prosecution has taken place despite frequent evidence that this is happening. Some of the girls interviewed were articulate and condemned the practice, saying the UK Government should do more to intervene. However, I was struck by the number who said that they were fearful of FGM 'when back on holiday in Somalia'.

No questions asked

No questions were asked as to how a community that predominantly use an 'asylum seeker route' to seek settlement in the UK and elswhere can now be taking regular holidays back in Somalia, which by all accounts is still a very unsafe place. The additional issue of how a community that has one of the highest welfare dependency and poorest employment records in their adopted country can afford to fly back to Somalia on extended holidays, was not explored. It should be. This is probably the tip of an iceberg in manipulating residence status by asylum claimants.

Tim Murray who also blogs on candobetter tells me that many former asylum seeking Tamils from Sri Lanka now resident in Canada frequently return to Sri Lanka on vacation. Such abuses of our asylum/refugee systems are costing us billions in extended support and infrastructue costs, yet our governments turn a blind eye.

Image icon somalia-hols-tiny.jpg4.45 KB
Image icon somalia-hols.jpg11.67 KB


If I recall the story correctly the family of the young Sudanese girl, Ayen Chol who was killed by a dangerous dog last year couldn't contact her "refugee" father to give him the bad news because he was away on business in Sudan.

The U.K government warns against all travel to Somalia and Somaliland:

"We advise against all travel to Somalia, including Somaliland. In the southern and central regions, there is ongoing serious violence, dangerous levels of criminal activity and general internal insecurity. We advise any British citizens in Somalia to leave."

Travel advice for Sudan, Australian citizens are advised "Do Not Travel"

Over 2.5 million people in war-torn Somalia remain in crisis despite huge global aid efforts and the situation may worsen, the UN has warned. Some 323,000 children are acutely malnourished, about a fifth of all children under five.

Even in a good year in West Africa, nearly 300,000 children die from malnutrition-related causes. In Australia, if a single child dies from malnutrition it makes headlines and provokes public outrage.

Most vulnerable refugees are smaller refugee communities, for whom finding paid work is hardest. Somali, Sudanese and other African refugees in particular face hardship, often relying on family and friends resettled to the West for survival.
The world's poorest and most helpless asylum-seekers are being increasingly displaced by those who, while also desperate, at least have the financial means to self-select and pay people-smugglers for a passage to Australia.

In the world’s top five source countries for refugees (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burma), conditions are characterised by protracted conflicts, ongoing insecurity and widespread violations of human rights. There are often limited prospects for significant improvement in these conditions in the near future, seriously limiting opportunities for refugees to return home in safety. Terrorists may use local merchants such as tour and transport operators to identify foreign visitors for potential kidnap operations. Hostages may be taken by their captors into a neighbouring country. Humanitarian workers and tourists in Kenya have been kidnapped by militants and held in Somalia.

Go Back to where you came from: Six prominent Australians with strong opinions on boat people surrender their passports and agree to travel as refugees. The scenes for Peter Reith, Angry Anderson, Allan Asher, Catherine Deveny, Mike Smith, and Imogen Bailey are described as “intense, shocking, and one of the most challenging experiences of their lives.”

Once again guided by author and refugee expert, Dr. David Corlett, the six participants set out on their journey with varied and blunt opinions:

It assumes that Australia has unlimited natural and social capital and resources, and jobs, housing, finances and infrastructure and thus the idealized destination for the world's displaced - those who have the funds to pay for boats and the people smugglers. It's alternative to addressing overpopulation, the root cause of conflicts, famine and "shortages" that make life a struggle, and deaths inevitable.