Particularly at this time as an election is looming, we need to deliver the message to all politicians that we want a fair society that welcomes refugees.
The tremendous community support for the #KidsOffNauru campaign has been effective in getting nearly all children and their families off Nauru. However, unfortunately, Australia’s treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum remains punitive and unjust:
- More than 1000 people are still languishing on Nauru and Manus, most of whom have been processed and recognised as refugees.
- The USA has only provided selective resettlement (over 400 so far) for certain refugees from PNG and Nauru. Australia needs to take responsibility to find alternative, safe and permanent places for those refugees the US does not take.
- The Australian Government is neither processing nor offering protection to the children and their families brought here from Nauru, who are placed mostly in community detention – so their uncertainty continues, which impacts on their health and well-being.
- The Australian government still refuses New Zealand’s offer to provide permanent protection for some of the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.
- Nearly 300 people continue to be held in on-shore detention centres – some have been held for more than 10 years.
- Over 40,000 people are still on Bridging visas in the community, some waiting for years on their protection claim being processed.
- More than 1,000 individuals in 2018 and 6,000 more in 2019 face destitution in our own communities as the government withdraws basic income, case management and torture and trauma counselling support to people seeking asylum, many of whom have difficulty getting full time employment, having been denied the right to work for many years.
- Even though eligible for citizenship, many people granted refugee status and permanent visas continue to wait for unreasonable periods, making it more difficult for them to feel secure and settled.
- The Government actively separates families: husbands from wives, parents from children, siblings from each other. Families belong together.
- The Government is continuing to deport people to danger, and thousands of people live with the threat of deportation.
- The Australian government continues to effectively deny many refugees permanent protection and access to family reunion.