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Greens call on government to take urgent action to protect sex-trafficked women

The Australian Greens say the Four Corners investigation into sex trafficking shows the government must act immediately to protect vulnerable women who risk deportation.

"I will be writing to the Immigration Minister and Home Affairs Minister  today requesting that this matter be given urgent consideration to these women so they can get out of sexual slavery," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Asylum Seekers

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:52): I move:
That the Senate-

(a) notes the current dismal state of debate on asylum seeker policy in Australia with:
(i) the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) calling the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) hypocritical, and
(ii) the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Abbott) calling the Prime Minister (Ms Gillard) hypocritical; and
(b) calls for Australia's international refugee obligations to be respected.
Question put. The Senate divided. [15:53]

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Both sides are wrong on refugees

Who was it who told the Australian Parliament in August 2006: "This is a bad bill with no redeeming features"? Who went on to say: "The people who will be disadvantaged by this bill are in fear of their lives, and we should never turn our back on them. They are people who could make a real contribution to Australia."

Why, none other than Chris Bowen, who is now Immigration Minister. Back then, he was speaking against the former Howard government's plan to take a tough stance against asylum seekers from West Papua who had paddled to Australia seeking our protection.

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Greens welcome passport breakthrough for sex and gender diverse Australians

The Government should be congratulated for easing restrictions on sex and gender diverse Australians from being issued with a passport that reflects their identity, say the Australian Greens.

"This is a really positive breakthrough for sex and gender diverse Australians," Greens' LGBTI spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Is our News Limited?

In Britain, the phone-hacking scandal has put Rupert Murdoch's media empire under unprecedented scrutiny. 

Questions are being asked about News Corporation's influence over British democracy - its capacity to make and break prime ministers and to set the policy agenda of the day.

In Australia, similar questions must also be asked. News Limited controls 70 per cent of our nation's print media, representing the greatest concentration of media ownership in the democratic world.

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Asylum Seekers

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (14:08): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Evans. Will the government ensure that the letter and spirit of the refugee convention and of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are upheld in any future legislation to be presented to this parliament?

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Greens seek DIAC briefing on on-shore assessment claims

The Australian Greens have called on the Prime Minister to provide them with a briefing from the Immigration Department about suggestions on-shore assessments of asylum seekers' claims would create social unrest and the evidence for their remarks.

 "There's no place in this debate for xenophobic assumptions which were reportedly made by Immigration officials in their briefing to Tony Abbott," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Greens welcome High Court decision, call for abolition of off-shore processing

The Australian Greens have welcomed the decision by the High Court which has ruled against the federal government's Malaysia people swap deal and said off-shore processing should be abandoned as a policy.

"This is wonderful news and is testament to the hard work of the legal team led by Debbie Mortimer and David Manne and information from groups including Amnesty International," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Asylum seeker agreement with Malaysia

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (16:04): I seek leave to amend business of the Senate notice of motion No. 2 standing in my name by omitting in paragraph (h) 'unaccompanied minor' and substituting 'irregular maritime arrivals'.

Leave granted.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I move the motion as amended:

That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 22 September 2011:

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