Australia poster: "don't come here you'll die'

Australia's immigration warning poster has been criticised by some on social media.
Australia's immigration warning poster has been criticised by some on social media.

THE Australian government has published an emotive anti-immigration poster which is supposed to counter people smuggling, according to an official website.

However, the imagery and wording of the poster - which shows a ship in rough seas with the words "No way. You will not make Australia home" and is published in 17 languages - has led to criticism online.

According to statistics from the Australian Border Deaths Database, 1,494 people have died while trying to seek asylum in Australia since the year 2000.

That figure is said to have decreased dramatically in 2014 because of a tougher stance on immigration from the new government.

The current approach marks a rather stark about-turn in the immigration policy of a country that's own recent history is completely intertwined with that of immigration.

In fact, Australia has had no qualms about welcoming migrants with open arms in the past (so long as they were from Britain or northern Europe).

A pro-immigration poster from 1928
A pro-immigration poster from 1928

Most notably, after the Second World War, the first minister for immigration, Arthur Calwell, launched an assisted passage scheme in 1946 with the slogan "populate or perish".

Skilled and unskilled workers were encouraged to re-settle in Australia.

Those from Britain were offered a subsidised boat journey for just £10 with promises of good prospects of employment and housing, a more relaxed lifestyle and a better climate.

Topics:  australia editors picks immigration

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