Discovering the truth - Gerry Georgatos.

The ability to discover the truth is outstripped by the ability to manifest deceit. Generally, I try to rely on the context of statistics and facts to hang on to the truth.

In Malaysia, 29,759 foreigners were caned between 2005 to end of 2010. This refutes Minister Bowen's claims that human rights, as we know them, will be protected.

It is often argued by the Australian Government that they do not want to see children, or anyone drown at sea. Is it better that they die in their place of origin in greater numbers? Or in Malaysia where in the camps since 2002 1,400 Asylum Seekers have died?

During the last ten years 156 children have drowned on their way to Australia, or because of boats being turned back. In those same ten years 1,250 children have died of starvation and preventable diseases every hour, 90 million children, and yet we have barely increased foreign aid and have failed to live up to the minimum 0.7% of our GDP as foreign aid, which would have prevented millions of deaths.

The Government, and many Australians, claim their argument against Asylum Seekers arriving by boat is either a humanitarian one on their behalf or in that we should put for example our sub-Sahelian brothers and sisters, starving to death, foremost. 925 million thereabouts starve today and we do next to nothing, billions live in abject poverty and yet xenophobia and closed economies demand 'border controls'.

Historically, Australia brutalised 500,000 children in various institutions, and where thousands of 'child slaves' were sent from Britain, where thousands of Aboriginal peoples' children were taken and lives destroyed, and where still Aboriginal children and their families live in unconscionable abject poverty. Nevertheless, our Government uses the weakest sophisms to thinly veil its racism and discriminatory identity.

Ten children have drowned on their way to Australia since the SIEV X. 6.7 million children under 5 years died of starvation in the same time. In the same period there have been 314 drownings in Australia, 47 of them children however we look for safety measures and education and not a blind eye.

How many have considered the vulgarity of trading human beings - on this occasion five for one? The whole concept of human cargo is beyond ugly, it is evil. We look back on the various slave trades with judgment and shame, millions of Africans, and before them hundreds of thousand of Irish, were transported as human cargo to be slaves in the Americas. Today, an Australian government screams for their 'right' to transport as human cargo, and for their 'right' to do human trade 'deals' - to trade in human beings. Unbelievable.

Gerry Georgatos

PhD Law researcher Australian Deaths in Custody
Convener, Human Rights Alliance

0430 657 309


Agree with you. Sue.