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"Brutal", "inhumane": The New York Times has condemned Australia's refugee policy.

It seems our leaders’ flagrant disregard for international law and human rights has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world after all, despite their best efforts.

As European nations desperately seek solutions to the worst migrant crisis the continent has faced since the second world war, The New York Times has published an editorial urging leaders not to copy Australia’s hard-line approach to refugees, labeling it “unconscionable”.

Consecutive Australian government’s have defended and downplayed their treatment of asylum seekers attempting to reach our country by boat, but none with such iron-clad militarism as the Abbott Government.

This morning, Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the image of drowned three-year-old Aylan Kurdi (a Syrian migrant whose body was found on a Turkish beach yesterday) as “very sad”- a reminder that we need to “stop the boats”.

A Turkish official lifts the body of a drowned toddler that has washed ashore.

The NYT piece describes Mr Abbott’s “ruthlessly effective” attempts to do just that, via turn-backs and cruel offshore detention policies, as not only legally dubious, but “inhumane”.

As Australian citizens our government’s continued mistreatment of refugees is deeply, deeply shameful.

We have seen the recent findings of the senate inquiry into the Nauru detention centre, which contained no less than 30 official allegations of guards sexually assaulting children within the camp and described a terrifying culture of violence and sexual harassment towards women on the island.

Read more about this here… Sarah Hanson-Young: ‘Women and children are being abused by guards employed by the Australian government.

We have read heart-wrenching accounts of grown men driven to self harm and seen images of desperate detainees sewing their lips together in protest, now our sins are detailed on the pages of the world’s most respected publication.

It seems our leaders’ flagrant disregard for international law and human rights has not gone unnoticed by the rest of the world after all, despite their best efforts.

“Instead of stopping the abuses, the Australian government has sought to hide them from the world,” the editorial board writes.

“It is inexcusable that some find themselves today in situations that are more hopeless and degrading than the ones that prompted them to flee.”

The New York Times describes Abbott’s hard-line approach as “inhumane”.

The article goes on to pan the recently implemented Border Force Act, which could see whistle-blowers from inside detention camps jailed for up to two years.

It finishes by urging European politicians to ignore Mr Abbott’s calls to follow his lead — much like he continues to  ignore his humanitarian obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.

You can read the editorial in full here.

Donations to help ease the European crisis can be made to:

Save the Children: distributing essential items to asylum seeker families.

Red Cross Europe: Giving emergency health care at train stations.

Migrant Offshore Aid Station: Preventing migrant deaths at sea

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