Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Profiting from misery

Vanguard September 2013 p. 9
Duncan B.

Multinational companies are making vast profits out of the misery being inflicted on asylum seekers who reach Australian territory.

These companies include Serco, G4S, Toll Group and International Health and Medical Services. A number of smaller air transport and engineering companies are also doing very well.

The Rudd Government’ Papua New Guinea policy has resulted in an upsurge in activity by the companies involved transporting equipment and setting up camps on Manus Island.

Serco controls 20 centres across Australia in a contract worth nearly $2billion. G4S is a world-wide security company which has an $80 million eight months contract for security services on Manus Island.

International Health and Medical Services has reaped nearly $1 billion from contracts to provide health services for asylum seekers in Australia and on Nauru and Manus Island.

Canstruct has contracts worth more than $140 million for work on Nauru. Decmil won a contract worth about $150 million to build a detention centre on Manus Island. Air-charter companies had contracts worth $41 million in the case of Adagold Aviation, and $20 million in the in the case of Skytraders. Toll had air-charter contract worth more than $11 million last year

Even the Salvation Army received $74 for providing welfare services to refugees.

Serco has become notorious for violations of human rights in the privatised prisons it
controls in England. Detainees here have suffered assaults and psychological damage, while guards have experienced post-traumatic stress due to lack of training.

Serco has been accused of price-gouging, understaffing, under-training and deliberately allowing detention centres to descend into chaos to extort more funds from the Government.

Asylum seekers must be treated humanely. They should be allowed to settle in the community not be imprisoned in camps for the benefit of exploiters such as Serco.

Further Reading: Antony Lowenstein Profits of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism Is Swallowing the World.

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