Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention 

 

The St Vincent de Paul Society's National Council supports this statement calling for a bipartisan commitment to get people urgently off Manus Island and Nauru, as uncertainty continues over an agreement to resettle them in the US. The statement was issued by the Refugee Council of Australia on 3 February. 

 
 

We, as a coalition of organisations and community groups from around Australia, are writing to express our concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Australia has created.

Successive Australian governments have managed and funded offshore detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. The people detained there are clearly Australia’s responsibility. This situation has reached crisis point, and immediate action must be taken.

Beyond the reports of physical and sexual abuse, including of children; inadequate medical attention; suicides and attempted suicides; even a murder; the extinguishment of hope has pushed people to the edge.

Many of these people have been recognised as refugees. We owe them protection and safety now.

Meanwhile, politicians are spending years engaged in lengthy negotiations as to the fate of these men, women and children. With the US resettlement deal in serious doubt, the most obvious and humane solution is to clear the camps and bring these people to Australia until a safe long term, appropriate outcome for them can be guaranteed.

We do not have years. Australia cannot allow another person to die or suffer because of our actions.

This is a crisis. We are calling on both major parties to form a bipartisan commitment to immediately evacuate the camps and bring these people to safety.

Signed,

The Refugee Council of Australia
Academics for Refugees
ActionAid Australia
Amnesty International Australia
APS Refugee Issues and Psychology Interest Group
Asylum Circle
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce
Australian Council of Social Service
Australian Council of Trade Unions
Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS)
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru
Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group
Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Campaign for Australian Aid – Up To Us
Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum
Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
Children Out of Immigration Detention (ChilOut)
Doctors for Refugees
Free the Children Nauru
GetUp!
Human Rights for All Pty Ltd
Human Rights Law Centre
Human Rights Watch
Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy
Independent Education Union of Australia
International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention
Jubilee Australia
Labor for Refugees
Liberty Victoria
Love Makes A Way
Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office
Mums 4 Refugees
New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties
Oxfam Australia
Pax Christi Queensland
People Just Like Us
Plan International Australia
Queensland Council of Unions
Queensland Nurses’ Union
Queensland Teachers’ Union
Refugee Action Coalition
Refugee Action Network Newcastle
Refugee Advice & Casework Service
Refugee Advocacy Network
RESULTS International Australia
Rural Australians for Refugees
Save the Children Australia
St Vincent de Paul Society National Council
St.Macartan’s Social Justice Group Mornington
Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney
Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support
Teachers For Refugees
Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia
The Australia Institute
The Bayside Refugee Advocacy and Support Association
The Catholic Justice Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane
The National Justice Project
Together Branch of the ASU
Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA
Uniting Church in Australia
Uniting Church in South Australia
Victorian Council of Churches
Welcome to Australia
World Vision Australia