WA’s hard border since the virus outbreak causing undue hardship for families, HRW says


According to the Human Rights Watch report, since the beginning of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Western Australian government has forced stricter limitations on citizens.

Last updated on September 20th, 2023 at 10:41 am

According to the Human Rights Watch report, since the beginning of the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Western Australian government has forced stricter limitations on citizens.

Five days ago, the Opposition Leader Liza Harvey said that the separated families were left with no hope of rejoining over Christmas. Prime Minister Scott Morrison affirmed that all states and districts have to adhere and continue to abide by the hard-border restrictions, disappointed many WA residents.

We have to discover a sympathetic and safe approach to bring all Western Australians home and attempt to rejoin our families once more

Opposition Leader Liza Harvey

The HRW expressed that the Australian legislature should make more waivers on compassionate grounds, allow family reunion, give more noteworthy transparency about the approval process, and clearer clarifications to people who have been declined approval to re-visitation their home state.

Sophie McNeill, an Australian specialist for Human Rights Watch says that the Australian Government can limit individuals’ traveling due to public health reasons, however, any limitations on these rights ought to be carefully designed and balanced.

The Western Australians who need to get back for family reasons and who are eager to comply with quarantine measures ought to be assisted and not prevented from doing so

Sophie McNeill, an Australian specialist for Human Rights Watch

WA has been practicing hard-border since April and those who wished to get back needed to request prior travel permission from police via a system called the “Good to Go process” (G2G).

‘Consent to enter WA was in restricted conditions remembering for the merciful reason for “dire and essential medical treatment, to attend a funeral, or visiting a relation who has a serious medical condition.

If anyone wanted permission had to go through a compulsory 14-day quarantine at a separate building from others and provide proof of their quarantine to the police. The Human Rights Watch had conversed with 17 people who stated that the police had rejected their application to enter Western Australia. Some said they had been denied numerous times.

According to the HRW, a lady who applied for permission from the Western Australian police stated that the police replied to her in an email, saying, if she could obtain work in Western Australia, chances of approval would be more.”

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Some stated, they applied on account of mental health or emotional reasons because of staying away from friends and family, however, this isn’t on the rundown of exception models.

Restriction on borders is set up in most other Australian states and territories, though they have more flexibility in granting entry depending on active case numbers. However, Western Australia’s Police ignored the request for a word on the matter with the HRW.

Australia has done very well in overseeing the pandemic, with under 28,000 affirmed infections cross country since the beginning of the pandemic. The lockdown was forced toward the start of July to contain the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak.

One of the world’s longest Coronavirus outbreak lockdowns of 111 days ends in the Australian city of Melbourne. More than 27,500 Covid positive cases have been reported in Australia, and 905 individuals died.

As per the government health experts, forestalling the start of the virus into areas that have dropped in human transmission was conceivable via cautiously checking people before travel. WA has embraced these protocols of screening at exit and entry, PCR testing, and 14-day isolation upon arrival.

However, people demand much better information, and fairer process, and lesser hardships for crossing the border.

Article Credit: HRW/ ABC/ CNN/ Reuters/ The Australia

About Grace Young

Step into the realm of workers' rights with Grace Young as your guide. Grace's storytelling prowess illuminates the human side of labor issues, offering narratives that inspire empathy and understanding.

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