It’s not just President Donald Trump complaining about an agreement between the Australian and American governments to move twelve hundred and fifty refugees from Nauru and Manus Island to the US. A coalition of 70 church, human rights and aid groups wants an end to the refugees’ uncertainty over whether they’ll ever get to America. Listen to the full story from RN.
In October 2016 the leaders of Churches met for conversation and to support each other. At this meeting they decided that the first Sunday of Lent, 5 March 2017, will be a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
The NCCA has put together resources to assist with reflection, prayer, reading and study. These documents represent a collection of some of the wonderful resources that have been gathered from our Churches. Find out more!
A Media Release from the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. Given the likely failure of the refugee arrangement with the United States, Australian Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull should announce an amnesty and bring the asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus to Australia. Read the full release.
20 years after the first emergence of Pauline Hanson, the 45th Parliament has again become dominated by divisive race politics. Recent weeks have seen words used by the immigration minister as bullets to reignite a war against immigrants, and the Taskforce has taken action in response.
We have been encouraging all federal senators and MPs to sign a 2016 version of the Parliamentary Code of Race Ethics, first introduced in 1996 by Qld Senators Margaret Reynolds and John Woodley (view the 1996 document and its signatories here).
To date, all members of the ALP caucus have signed the 2016 version, which aims to hold our elected members to a code of conduct which includes making a commitment to telling the truth, and representing all constituents, regardless of race.
Read the full 2016 Parliamentary Code of Ethics and ask your local MP and your senate representatives to please sign up.
As of today, Mr Shorten has written to Mr Turnbull asking him to present it to the coalition party room, and we eagerly await Mr Turnbull’s response.
They want the government to reveal how many people will be resettled, under what conditions, and how long will it take.
It comes as key crossbench senators threaten to vote against the Government’s proposed asylum seeker visa laws that would ban those who arrived by boat from mid-2013 from ever entering Australia.
Misha Coleman is the Executive Officer of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce.
Speaking to NewsRadio’s Glen Bartholomew, she says the deal with the US raises more questions than it answers.
A “one-off” bilateral agreement that will see some refugees on Manus Island and Nauru resettle in the United States lacks detail and leaves many questions unanswered, refugee advocates say.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced the deal on Sunday morning that will see the 1800 detainees encouraged to return home, seek resettlement in the US or face an indefinite stay in the Nauruan community… read the full story.
Media Release: Australian Churches welcome government recognition of the trauma caused by Nauru and Manus
13th November 2016: The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce says the acknowledgement from the Turnbull government today that the cruel refugee prisons on Nauru and Manus are unsustainable is welcome and long overdue, and the Taskforce will closely monitor any deals, to ensure that safe and fair resettlement is the ultimate priority.
General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Sister Elizabeth Delaney, which represents 19 Christian churches in Australia, said today that “people in churches across Australia today are thanking God that our Government has finally understood that Australians will not tolerate the cruelty being inflicted on people who’ve been incarcerated indefinitely in remote, desolate locations within Nauru and Manus Province”.
Misha Coleman, Executive Officer of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce said:
“The fact that government has finally acknowledged that the refugee prisons are unsustainable means we are cautiously optimistic that we may be coming to the end of cruel and archaic offshore processing.”
“We also reject the need to send people who are currently here in Australia, the Let Them Stay group, back to Nauru, before they are eligible for resettlement to the US or elsewhere – that is playing games with families here, many who have very young children”.
“The devil is in the detail. We are particularly worried about the linking of the ‘lifetime refugee ban’ legislation with this announcement, specifically for the 20 families on Nauru who have family here in Australia”.
“Every single refugee must be given safe and fair resettlement. That is the only standard by which any international deal can be determined a success”.
“Not a single person must be left behind. The Turnbull government cannot think that sending some people to the US will distract from the further misery of others.
“If we needed any more proof that the lifetime refugee ban was motivated by nothing more than ugly partisan politics then we now have it. This announcement today exposes the ban completely as even more irrelevant.”
Media inquiries and comment:
Misha Coleman, Executive Officer, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, 0428 399 739
Peter Stahel (Essential Media) 0408 584 439