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Attitudes towards asylum seekers: An evaluation of a mature-aged community education programme

Hartley, L.K., Pedersen, A. and Dandy, J. (2012) Attitudes towards asylum seekers: An evaluation of a mature-aged community education programme. Race Equality Teaching, 30 (1). pp. 34-38.

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The arrival of asylum seekers and refugees across a nation’s border is often the subject of contested debate in many Western nations. Australian research finds unacceptable levels of community prejudice against asylum seekers (e.g., Klocker, 2004; Suhnan et al., in press). Compared to other Western nations, Australia receives relatively few asylum seekers. For example, the UNHCR (2011) finds that of the top 15 receiving Western countries, Australia is ranked 13th. Despite Australia’s comparatively small number of asylum applications, those who arrive unauthorised (i.e., without a valid visa) are subject to mandatory detention whereby they are held in an immigration detention centre until they receive a visa and security clearance; sometimes this can take years (Briskman et al., 2008). There is considerable evidence showing that mandatory detention has an extremely detrimental effect on asylum seekers’ mental health (e.g., Davidson et al., 2008; The Australian Psychological Society, 2011).

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Trentham Books
Copyright: The Authors
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