Thursday, 6 October 2011

Supporting refugee rights

Let’s sink offshore processing

On 11 October, Parliament will meet to vote on changes to the Migration Act. One of two things could happen: either the government will successfully weaken protections for refugees, shunning our international obligations under the Refugee Convention - or, the vote will fail in a major victory for the rights of refugees.
This is a pivotal moment in the refugee debate in Australia. Polls show that the majority of Australians support onshore processing - and that number is growing by the day. The High Court of Australia has already upheld the rights of refugees in a landmark decision; now it's time for our politicians to do likewise.

Send a clear message to Minister Bowen that Australians want to see refugee rights protected, and their claims processed onshore.

Sign our petition and join the growing movement of Australians calling on the government to commit to onshore processing. Amnesty International's global director Salil Shetty will hand-deliver your petition to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen ahead of the 11 October parliamentary vote.
Petition text:
Dear Minister Bowen,
Processing all refugee claims onshore is not only Australia’s duty as a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, but also a fairer, cheaper and more humane approach.
We ask that you abandon policies that would send refugees to other countries and commit to processing the refugee claims of people who arrive in Australia.
We ask that when creating refugee policy, you remember the following facts:
  • seeking asylum is legal, even if arriving by boat
    • the numbers of asylum seekers arriving in Australia are small compared to other places, and
    • the vast majority who arrive by boat are genuine refugees fleeing violence and terror.

    Sign the petition here to stop offshore processing of refugees: