Shipwrecked people are rescued, aboard a boat 20 miles north of Libya, by a frigate of the Italian navy, Feb. 12, 2015. (AP/Massimo Sestini)
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As Europe struggles to deal with a surge in migrants pouring across the Mediterranean, Australia has gone nearly 18 months with virtually no asylum-seeker boat arrivals and no deaths at sea.But observers warn that Australia's hotly contested policy of turning back boats offers no model for the European Union, arguing it is immoral and probably illegal under both EU and international law.Pressure on the EU to tackle its mounting crisis has escalated after more than 700 people were feared drowned when an overcrowded boat capsized off Libya at the weekend, with calls for a special summit.Many of the migrants heading to EU shores are in any case not claiming asylum, but hoping to melt into the black-market workforce.McAdam said that at any rate, the Australian model was flawed and not applicable to the EU.Human Rights Watch Australia director Elaine Pearson told AFP it would be disastrous if the EU adopted similar offshore processing and started turning back boats.
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