|Refugees||MIGRANT OFFICE WARNS ON KOSOVAR RULING|
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee service has warned that the determination of the Government to repatriate Kosovar refugees could demean Australia's refugee support efforts, The Catholic Weekly reports.
Service director, Fr John Murphy said that when legislation was introduced to allow the Kosovars entry on a temporary basis, they had been concerned that elements of the legislation forbidding any visa application by Kosovar refugees - while still in the country - had the risk of demeaning Australian efforts.
However, Fr Murphy pointed out that to allow remaining Kosovars to apply for visas would be unfair to those who had returned. "We see the problems," he said.
Fr Murphy has also written to the Minister for Immigration, Mr Ruddock, regarding concerns that some returning Kosovars may be the targets of harassment.
The UN has released a list of categories of people who could be endangered. While saying the government should perhaps give the Kosovars a little more time, Fr Murphy pointed out that many had quite willingly returned and that unless refugees did return, the country could not be rebuilt.
In another development the Refugee Council of Australia has drawn attention to comments from the UNHCR director of the division of international protection who has commented on the Australian "safe haven" legislation: "At law the Convention (on refugees) cannot be made unavailable for persons for whom it was intended."