A boat holding seventy Afghan, Iranian and Pakistani asylum seekers, bound for Australia, sank yesterday off the unpatrolled coast of Java.
The death toll of the incident has risen to 8 after the body of a nine year old Iranian boy was found in the sea this morning.
Fourty eight have been reportedly rescued, but the remaining people are feared drowned.
The tragedy has renewed the controvertial debate over the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is encouraging a vote on the changes to the Migration Act, which would allow the processing of offshore asylum seekers.
A change like this could prevent the deaths of many more asylum seekers, attempting to reach Australia.
There have been two thousand nine hundred and ten irregular maritime arrivals to Australia this year alone.
This is partially because taking the UN program route can leave asylum seekers waiting in camps in Malaysia and Indonesia indefinitely.
Those who do reach Australia face detention. Just last week a Sri Lankan refugee in a Sydney detention centre committed suicide after being detained for 2 years.
The refugee, who was awaiting security clearance, had allegedly been denied the right to perform a Hindu ritual.