In an advertisement printed in Pakistani newspapers on Friday, the Australian government warned readers against getting duped by people smugglers claiming they can transport them to Australian waters in hopes of getting asylum.
Written in bold at the top of the advertisement are the words: “NO WAY. You will not make Australia home.”
“If you get on a boat without a visa , you will not end up in Australia. Any vessel seeing to illegally enter Australia will be intercepted and safely removed beyond Australian waters,” reads the advertisement.
It adds that the rules apply to all: “Families, children, unaccompanied children, educated and skilled”.
The ad is worded in English, Urdu, Pashto, Dari, and Hazargi languages.
“No matter who you are or where you are from, you will not make Australia home. Think again before you waste your money. People smugglers are lying,” warns the Australian government.
The advertisement is part of a campaign “Operation Sovereign Borders”, a military-led border security initiative by the government to combat maritime people smuggling and protect Australia’s borders.
“Australia is serious about protecting its borders and will stop anyone who attempts to come illegally by boat…[People] should not believe the lies of smugglers and there is no way they will make Australia home," warns the government on the OSB website.
Australia has toughened its policy on asylum-seekers in recent years, with those arriving on unauthorised boats now refused residency in Australia even if they are deemed refugees.
Instead they are held in detention camps on nearby islands and are expected to be resettled in those countries if their claims are valid.
The Australian government has come under increased scrutiny for its treatment of asylum seekers, but the government claims its policies are meant to prevent people risking their lives at sea.