Tag Archives: Nauru

A call for a new multilateral refugee policy

Notwithstanding today’s welcome news of a reprieve for 31 Australian born babies and their families destined for Nauru detention, and that they will now remain in Australia for processing of claims to asylum, this church’s leaders issue the following statement:

“The Elders and Board of the Church of Christ Wembley Downs acknowledge this church’s history of welcoming and assisting asylum seekers received by Australia for resettlement under the Community Resettlement Scheme. The refugees with which this church and other community organisations have been involved have become full, contributing members of the Australian community. When the Australian government discontinued the scheme, replacing it with its own resettlement regime, including a more severe detention  system, our role began to move to advocacy for individuals and families with whom we had contact. It is with dismay that, over the years, we have seen even harsher measures employed as a deterrent to asylum seekers.  Members of our church have expressed their concerns through writing to Members of Parliament, Senators and Government Ministers. The result has been even more severe policies against those seeking asylum, affecting family cohesion, mental health, and suicide risk. Accordingly, this church aligns itself with the philosophy of the Love Makes A Way movement and endorses its actions in seeking to bring about justice for refugees, particularly in the seeking of release of children with their families from detention. We call on Parliament to adopt a multilateral approach to creating regional solutions for humane treatment of asylum seekers according to the standards of the United Nations Refugee Convention of which Australia is both a drafter and a signatory.”