KASAMA Vol. 19 No. 2 / April-May-June 2005 / Solidarity Philippines Australia Network

ECCV calls for a Royal Commission into deportation

Media Release 30 May 2005

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) has today called for a foolproof, transparent accountability process of inquiry to be set up for the wrongful deportation of Vivienne Alvarez Solon Young.

The ECCV supports the community coalition that has been established to lobby for changes to mandatory detention and deportation of people in Australia. Chairperson of the ECCV, Phong Nguyen, supports the comments made by Melba Marginson, Victorian Multicultural Commissioner and spokesperson of the Centre for Philippine Concerns Australia (CPCA) who stated, “At the heart of this campaign is a seeping climate of fear amongst migrants as they saw how Vivienne Alvarez Solon was so blatantly dismissed, mis-handled and rushed back to the Philippines by government officials because she was not technically and mentally ‘able’ to prove her Australian citizenship”.

The ECCV recommend that a Royal Commission be established immediately, that will provide an independent and open inquiry into immigration detention and deportation. The ECCV also calls for a review of section 189 of the 1958 Migration Act on the detention of unlawful non-citizens.

Mr Nguyen believes that “the current Migration Act is outdated and unacceptable and ECCV offers its full support to the Private Members Bill in hope that specific guidelines be implemented to transform Australia’s immigration detention policy”.

In addition the ECCV believe that a special body, independent of the Department, needs to be established to supervise and approve any deportation order.

For further information or media comment contact:
Phong Nguyen, Chairperson
Ph: 0411 756 552
or Dr Prabir Majumdar, Executive Officer
Ph: (03) 9349 4122 — Mobile: 0439 399 912 — or Email:
Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, 150 Palmerston Street,
Carlton Vic. 3053 Australia