Perpetual Insecurity 7a - Zones of Terror: TPVs


Abolishing the Future: TPVs as an ‘open prison’

A heart shape with crying eyes depicted behind vertical bars/a cage.

[imagecaption] ‘Second Jail’, 2003. Artist: Saeed Kazim Mosawie. Published in Pictures in my Heart: Seeking Refugee – Afghanistan to Australia by Fiona Hamilton. [/imagecaption]


‘Our future and destiny are unknown. We don’t have any freedom, we are out of detention but it’s like being in an open prison.’

TPV holder

The provision of temporary protection visas is an explicitly punitive course of action that has been justified as a technique of deterrence.  First introduced in October 1999, TPVs were in effect until 2008, when permanent protection was re-instated. In December 2014, temporary protection was re-introduced and remains in effect.

A recent report ‘States of Refuge’ by Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project highlights barriers that people on temporary visas face in accessing information and services relating to health, housing and education.

Temporary Protection Visas enforce a permanent state of limbo. They keep refugees in a state of ‘chronic anticipatory stress’, which reduces the effectiveness of typical mental health support regimes. TPVs structurally preclude the possibility for refugees to project their lives into the future. Through the deployment of TPVs, the concept of ‘hope’ is eroded and the word ‘future’ effectively abolished.


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