Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 01:25 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 18 Jul 2018 | 01:25 | SYDNEY

Values and sanctions


Fergus Hanson


16 February 2010 09:50

I've been looking at Australia-Fiji relations recently. One of the things that's struck me is just how difficult it is to balance Australian interests in Fiji with our response to the regime. One example of this tension is the system of travel sanctions Australia has imposed against the interim regime as well as their family members.

According to the DFAT website, sanctions apply to family members of high profile coup supporters, ranking Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) officers (warrant officer rank and above) and interim government ministers.

While some family members might act as de factor arms of the regime when abroad (and help them circumvent the effects of the sanctions) punishing the children of regime leaders purely on the basis of blood still sits uncomfortably with Australian values and democratic principles. 

That's not to say Australia should scrap its travel sanctions against Fiji, just that it is hard to make even targeted sanctions fit exactly with the principles you are trying to uphold.

Photo by Flickr user superciliousness, used under a Creative Commons license.