From the Josephite Justice Office. On this day, when we are marking 150 years of the life and work of the Sisters of St Joseph, we are united in our concern for those pushed to the edge of our society at this time. Together with many Australians, we join in urging the Government and the Opposition to urgently host a National Summit to consider alternative approaches to our current asylum seeker policy.
There is no doubt that Australia’s present policy regarding the global issue of people seeking safety is unsustainable, unsafe, and does not offer protection to people who need it. In the absence of alternatives being promulgated by either government or the opposition, or by relevant government departments, a new approach is imperative.
We strongly believe that there are credible and innovative international law-compliant alternatives to current policy.
For this reason, we commit ourselves to working with those organisations with expertise and experience in the refugee and asylum seeker sector, who have been developing viable alternatives. We believe that a bi-partisan commitment by both major Parties will enable all of us to focus debate on the possibilities of a better way. A national summit, established by a consensus of all Parties, will enable us to explore and chart viable alternatives, which are compliant with international law and human rights.
In the short-term, we urge the Government to consider granting a one-off amnesty to refugees currently on Nauru and Manus Island. This could be the first step in a process, which will enable justice to be enacted, both for those seeking asylum and for us as Australians.
Josephite Justice Office
PO Box 1508 North Sydney NSW 2059