The Psychological Impact of Extended Temporary Protection
Keywords:Australia, refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa, deterrence, mental health
AbstractAgainst the background of the recent international trend of a greater reliance on deterrence measures in managing the flow of asylum seekers, this paper discusses the implementation of the temporary protection visa (TPV) in Australia. It focuses on the psychological impact of the TPV policy on individual asylum seekers and how this unlimited temporary status affects the overall process of settlement. This study is based on personal narratives constructed by individual asylum seekers during one-onone interviews aimed at sketching the mental and psychological manifestations of stressful events in their lives as TPV holders. What is particularly revealing among many of these 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 a prevalence of racialized discourses and exclusionary policies advocated by the host government. Past trauma and persecution, combined with present family separation and social exclusion, and further compounded by uncertainty about the future, had resulted in almost chronic states of anxiety and depression among a significant number of TPV holders.
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Copyright (c) 2006 Fethi Mansouri, Stephanie Cauchi
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