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A psychological perspective on Australia's asylum policies

journal contribution
posted on 2007-03-01, 00:00 authored by Fethi MansouriFethi Mansouri, S Cauchi
This paper discusses mental and psychological impacts of Australia's temporary protection visa (TPV) policy on individual asylum seekers. The paper is based on personal narratives constructed by individual asylum seekers during one-on-one interviews and aims principally to sketch the discursive manifestations of stressful events in the lives of TPV holders. The fact that refugees exhibit signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not entirely new or surprising given the level of trauma, and in many cases torture and persecution, endured in the pre-migration phase.

What is particularly revealing among many TPV holders is the fact that their pre-migration traumatic experiences are compounded by a post-migration condition of being in indefinite "temporary" protection. This is further exacerbated by an awareness of the exclusionary discourses and policies advocated by the host government. Past trauma and persecution, combined with present family separation and social exclusion, further compounded by uncertainty about the future, results in almost chronic states of anxiety and depression among a significant number of TPV holders.

History

Journal

International migration

Volume

45

Issue

1

Pagination

123 - 150

Publisher

Blackwell Publishing

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

0020-7985

eISSN

1468-2435

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2007, The Authors, International Organization for Migration