The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) - of which CSSA is a member - has today issued an open letter to Australia’s political leaders urging them to develop more humane responses towards people seeking protection in Australia. The letter, sent to leaders of the major parties and the key spokespeople, follows the Catholic Bishops of Australia listing the treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum as their number one issue of concern. “One of the most pressing issues in Australia from an ethical and moral perspective is the treatment of people seeking protection in Australia,” reads the letter. “We, as members of the Catholic community, in schools, parishes, hospitals and other organisations are very concerned. Although interdiction has stopped more people coming by boat to Australian territory, those who have tried are still being punished and denied any hope of finding a new life in Australia.”
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) has called on the Federal Government to commit to processing the applications of the 850 men currently on Manus Island here in Australia. CSSA is a member of CAPSA.
AUSTRALIA'S POLICY OF DETERRENCE IS UNJUST AND INDEFENSIBLE "Catholic Social Services Australia calls on all people of goodwill in the Australian community to join us in urging all political leaders, in Government and in Opposition, to abandon their current stance of using the most vulnerable people as a deterrent to others, and create immigration policies that uphold the rights and dignity of people seeking asylum.
The Australian Church's Refugee Taskforce and 80 sanctuary churches across Australia applaud the community effort that has resulted in baby Asha and her family being kept safe here in Australia. The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce has welcomed the government's decision to show compassion after an intensive campaign by a wide range of social groups including churches. Misha Coleman, Executive Officer of the Taskforce's and National coordinator of the Church Sanctuary Movement said that there is one simple reason that this little girl is now going to live in a home in the community - and that's the people who stood up and demanded better treatment of her - and who refused to allow her to be deported to Nauru.
CSSA supports the Refugee Council of Australia calling on the Australian Government to act with more urgency in fast tracking the processing of 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees it has promised to resettle from the Middle East.
Media Statement from Bishop Vincent Long ofm conv, Australian Catholic Bishops Delegate for Refugees regarding the High Court’s decision on offshore processing
“Following the High Court decision, the Australian Government’s response to people seeking asylum, including babies born in Australia and their parents, should focus on protecting them from harm and respecting their human dignity.” “I urge the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton to show compassion and mercy towards these families and not act in a way that will cause even more harm than has been done already.” “The Catholic Church is prepared to collaborate with other community organisations to provide support for asylum seekers.”
JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT: ACOSS, Australian Council for International Development, Anglicare Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, Mission Australia, Oxfam Australia, St Vincent de Paul Society, Save the Children, and World Vision. Australian international aid and community sector agencies today united behind churches across the country who are opening their doors to asylum seekers facing removal back to offshore detention centres.
Today the High Court has thrown out a challenge to the Australian Government's immigration #detention centre on Nauru. This decision means that more than 250 people, including 35 babies, will be sent back to Nauru as early as this weekend. Australia’s treatment of people seeking #asylum should reflect our collective values of solidarity, compassion, respect for human dignity, and our desire to do good – not harm.