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Reflecting on life for asylum seekers & refugees

The lives of refugees and asylum seekers have been highlighted in the media lately. Unfortunately, much of it has presented a negative aspect of the actions of a minority. The Specific Issues Committee, Asylum Seekers and Refugees encourages readers to reflect on the lives of refugees and asylum seekers as presented in Mercy Matters during the last two years. In particular you are urged to view the video from A Just Australia and to consider the policy of the various political parties.

In the last edition of Mercy Matters one article listed various organisations, based on Catholic Social Justice principles, who have material related to the Federal election.

What is your response to these words from Ian Chappell?

“Everyone in Australia should be worried about justice and a sense of fair play. If politicians are allowed to erode the parameters of justice and human rights for refugees or other under-privileged groups then it won’t be long before these standards will be applied for all citizens. Remember – bad things happen when good people do nothing.” Ian Chappell

What action will you take to ensure justice is present in the lives of all living, or seeking to live, in Australia?

Amongst the priorities highlighted by Australia’s Catholic Bishops was the issue of immigration. The Australian Catholic Bishops stated that “all asylum seekers, regardless of how they arrive in Australia, should have their claim processed in Australia according to international convention”. Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

The Australian Catholic Bishops also state “…millions of people who are forced to flee their homeland for fear of persecution or through displacement because of war or famine.” Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

A Just Australia is a national policy lobby group campaigning for just policies and programs for refugees and asylum seekers. A Just Australia, supported by individuals, non-government organisations and prominent Australians, has been operating for about five years and seeks policies for asylum seekers and refugees that promote dignity and generosity.

You are urged to watch a short video here which highlights the government’s promises and the reality for asylum seekers.

Recently, A Just Australia released Clean Up Our (Migration) Act! The campaign highlights issues that need to be addressed while maintaining Australia’s border security and most importantly while ensuring the dignity of all people.

10 Steps to Clean Up Australia’s (Migration) Act

  1. No repelling (turning back) of boats or other removal without proper review of protection needs.
  2. No excisions of territory
  3. No offshore or third country detention or processing
  4. Detention as a last resort.
  5. Humane detention and reception centres.
  6. Community-based asylum seekers allowed to live in dignity.
  7. Permanent protection for all who need it.
  8. Fair and reasonable protection application process.
  9. No person shall be deported to danger and shall be assisted to return in dignity.
  10. Durable solutions with an international focus

Details of 10 steps to clean up Australia’s (Migration) Act click here.

Find out more about A Just Australia’s analysis of Australian political parties’ policy to asylum seekers here.

From: Specific Issues Committee, Asylum Seekers and Refugees (Sisters Sally Bradley, Claudette Cusack, Lorraine Phelan and Mary Quinn). The Committee warmly invites your response to the article or the issue.
Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator