Former diplomat Tony Kevin gives a very different view to the political and media commentary about 'evil people smugglers'. He says the main danger to the lives of refugees is not those who assist desperate people fleeing war and persecution, but government border protection policies that prioritise political spin over saving lives.
Kevin gives examples of distressed asylum boats that were ignored, or the responsibility offloaded to the under-resourced Indonesian government, resulting in the tragic loss of lives.
Tony Kevin is the author of A Certain Maritime Incident and the new book Reluctant Rescuers. He was speaking at a forum organised by the Refugee Action Coalition.