Amnesty International reveals the results of a formal poll of 1,000 Australians across the country:
A new opinion poll conducted for Amnesty International has found that a clear majority of Australians believe all asylum seekers should be treated equally under Australian law. The survey also found that a majority of Australians mistakenly believe that most asylum seekers arrive in Australia by boat.
Good news, that most oppose the present much harsher treatment applied to refugees who’ve arrived by boat:
The results of the Nielsen poll commissioned by Amnesty International Australia show that 69 percent of Australians believe that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat should have access to the same legal protections as those who arrive by plane.
And a sad indictment on media reporting of the issue:
The opinion poll also showed that a large majority of Australians have major misconceptions regarding the percentage of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat. On average, Australians believe that about 60 per cent of asylum seekers come to Australia by boat. More than a third of Australians believe that over 80 per cent of asylum seekers arrive by boat. In fact, only 3.4 per cent of people who sought asylum in Australia in 2008 arrived by boat – the other 96.6 per cent arrived by plane.
Won’t stop the polemicists ranting misleadingly and unfairly about “boat people” and “people smugglers” and “queue jumpers”, though.
They’re probably thrilled to see how effective their misinformation has been.