Community Sector Calls for New Approach to Asylum Seekers
5 September 2011 at 5:42 pm
|Above: Woomera detention centre (Flickr image Some rights reserved by Karen Eliot)|
Leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service organisations have signed a statement calling on the Australian Government to give up offshore processing and establish a humane approach to people seeking asylum.
The campaign is being lead by the national peak welfare body, the Australian Council of Social Services, which ran the asylum seeker statement as a half-page advertisement on page 8 of The Australian newspaper on Thursday, 8th of September. The ad included the full statement, along with the names of the 200 signatory organisations.
The statement on behalf of the Australian community sector calls on the Commonwealth Government to abandon its fixation with offshore ‘solutions’, and to establish a just and humane approach to Australia’s response to people seeking asylum.
On behalf of leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service groups, the statement says it calls for both major political parties to ‘de-politicise’ policies about asylum seekers by abandoning offshore processing.
The number of organisations that have signed the statement has almost reached 250, with many organisations also donating to pay for advertising space in The Australian.
Organisations that want to join the call for a new approach to Australia’s asylum seeker policy following last week’s historic High Court ruling can still sign the statement on the ACOSS website.
As a group, the signatories to the statement are calling for:
• Both major political parties respect the full implications of the high court ruling
• The Australian Government to take leadership on this issue
• The Australian Government to immediately rule out offshore processing and mandatory detention
• The Australian Government to immediately move to process all asylum seekers onshore
• The Australian Government to increase our refugee and humanitarian intake in the region and honour its commitment to resettle the 4000 refugees from Malaysia
• The Australian Government to continue to work towards a regional solution to the plight of people seeking asylum
The statement concludes with the following statement:
As a country, Australia must adopt just and humane policies on refugees and asylum seekers and in so doing raise the level of debate and treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Only then will Australia be able to hold its head high in the international community as a nation with a commitment to human rights and a deep appreciation of the plight of people seeking a safe haven from persecution and a better way of life.
To view the full statement, click here: http://www.acoss.org.au/policy/community_services/community_sector_statement_on_asylum_seeker_malaysia_deal_high_court_ruling/
To donate to the campaign, or to become a signatory of the asylum seeker statement, visit www.acoss.org.au
List of signatories:
ACOSS – Australian Council of Social Service
ACT Council of Social Service
ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre
Advocacy for Inclusion
Armidale Rural Australians for Refugees
Arts in Action
Association Amis des Enfants Australia Inc.
Association of Children's Welfare Agencies
Asylum Seekers Centre of New South Wales
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Asylum Seekers Christmas Island
Athelstone Uniting Church
Australian Association of Social Workers (National)
Australian Association of Social Workers (SA Branch)
Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
Australian Community Workers Association
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
Australian Education Union
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations
Australian Friends of Flores/International Society of Human Rights Australia
Australian Kurdish Association
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Australian Muslim Women's Association
Australian Services Union – NSW & ACT Services Branch
Australian Services Union – Victorian Private Sector Branch
Australian Women's Health Network
Australian Youth Affairs Coalition
Blue Mountains East Timor Sisters
Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Cabramatta Community Centre
Cairns Diocese Social Justice contact
Caritas, Catholic Mission, ACSJC
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane
Catholic Religious Australia
Catholic Social Services Australia
Catholic Social Justice Commission of Canberra & Goulburn
Centacare Catholic Family Services Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie
Centacare Mount Isa
Central West Women's Health Centre Inc.
Centre for Community Child Health
Centre for Health Service Development
Churches of Christ CareWorks SA & NT
Climate and Health Alliance
Coalition for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
Coalition of Women's Domestic Violence Services of SA Inc
Community Legal Centres NSW
Community Living Project Inc.
Community Restorative Centre
Consumer Credit Legal Centre NSW Inc.
CPSU, the Community and Public Sector Union, SPSF Group
Crossroads Community Care Centre Inc.
DASSAN (Darwin Asylum Seeker Support & Advocacy Network)
Disability Resources Centre
Domestic Violence Resource Service
Eastern Community Legal Centre
Edmund Rice Centre
Equatoria Community and Welfare Assciation NSW Inc.
Family Relationship Services Australia
Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia
Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and Families
Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre Inc.
Footscray Community Legal Centre
Fremantle Multicultural Centre
Gippsland Multicultural Service
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealan
Granville Multicultural Community Centre
Green Left Weekly
Hepatitis C Council of SA
Hills Community Options Inc.
Hinterland Community Development Association
Human Rights Law Centre
Illawarra Legal Centre
Immigrant Women's Support Service
Independent Education Union
International Society of Human Rights – Australia Inc.
Islamic Council of Victoria
Ivanhoe Local Group Amnesty International
Jensen Planning & Design
Jobs Australia Limited
Justice and Peace Office, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
KGA Consulting GroupMASH
Medical Association for Prevention of War
Mekong Migration Network
Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office
Mental Health ACT
Mental Health Association NSW
Migrant Women's Support Service Inc.
Milang Old School House Community Centre
Mountains Community Resource Centre
Multicultural Communities Council of SA
Multicultural Services Centre of WA
Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW
NSW Family Services Inc.
National Tertiary Education Union
National Association of Community Legal Centres Inc.
National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS
National Council of Churches in Australia
National Ethnic Disability Alliance
National LGBTI Health Alliance
National Welfare Rights Network
NSW Council of Social Service
Neighbourhood That Works
Network of Immigrant and Refugee Women of Australia
Newcastle Family Support Services
New Internationalist Australia
Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre
NT Council of Social Service
NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby
NSW Rape Crisis Centre
NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors
NSW Spanish and Latin American Association
Older Women's Network NSW Inc.
Peel Community Legal Service
People's Choice Credit Union
People Living With HIV/AIDS Victoria
People with Disability Australia
Physical Disability Australia Ltd.
Presentation Sisters Queensland
Public Health Association of Australia
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Public Interest Law Clearing House
Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees
Qld Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research
Refugee Advice and Casework Service
Refugee Advice and Rights Service
Refugee and Immigration Legal Service Inc.
Refugee Action Coalition, NSW
Refugee Action Network Newcastle
Refugee Council of Australia
Refugee Relief Association
Refugee Rights Action Network
Rural Australians for Refugees
Richmond Community Services Inc.
Rosemount Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services
Salvation Army (Bendigo)
SA Council of Social Service
Sister of Mercy Australia
Sisters of Mercy Bathurst
Sisters of Charity of Australia
Skill Teaching And Resources Inc.
Social Justice Commission Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba
Social Justice Network
Social Policy Connections
South West Brisbane Community Legal Centre Inc.
Southern Junction Community Services
Spectrum Migrant Resource Centre
Springvale Community Aid and Advice Bureau
St. Anthony's Asylum Seeker Support Group
St Bede's Braidwood Social Justice Group
St George Youth Services Inc.
St Marys Area Community Development Project Inc.
St Vincent de Paul Society
Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (SA)
Sydney Multicultural Community Services
Tasmanian Council of Social Service
Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
The Hepatitis C Council of SA Inc.
The House of Welcome
Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support
Top End Women's Legal Service
Uniting Church in Australia National Assembly
Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Victoria and Tasmania
UnitingCare Centre for Social Justice
UnitingCare Cutting Edge
UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania
UnitingCare South Australia
UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide
UnitingCare Wesley Bowden Inc.
Unity Housing Company Ltd.
Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
Victorian AIDS Council/Gay Men's Health Centre
Victorian Council of Social Service
Victorian Council for Civil Liberties
WA Council of Social Service
Welfare Rights Centre (SA)
Welfare Rights Centre, Sydney
Western Sydney Aboriginal Reconciliation Committee
Western Sydney Community Forum
Williamstown Uniting Church Social Justice Group
Women With Disabilities Australia
Women's Activities and Self Help House Inc.
Youth Action and Policy Association NSW
Youth Affairs Network of Qld
Youth and Cultural Development, NZ
Youth Coalition of the ACT
Youth Network of Tasmania
YWCA of Canberra
Zena Women's Services Inc.
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