Brigidine Sisters stance on the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers.
As a Catholic organisation with a commitment to social justice and upholding the human dignity of every person, we share serious concerns about the impact of both major political parties’ policies on the rights, inherent dignity and wellbeing of people seeking asylum in Australia.
We are particularly concerned about the treatment of children under these policies.
All parents know the special care and protection that children require. We do everything possible to make sure that our children have opportunities to live safe, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. When our children cry out for help, we do not abandon them.
Current asylum seeker policies abandon children who are calling out to us for help. In doing so, we are punishing them for decisions and circumstances that are beyond their control.
There is a need for our community to stand up and call for a humane response to people who seek protection in Australia. This must include a fair go for children including freeing them from detention, providing access to education and opportunities for positive development.
Another way is possible.
Community groups and church organisations across Australia, under the leadership of the Refugee Council of Australia, have endorsed a set of key principles for asylum seeker policy. These principles will allow us to respond to people seeking asylum in a way that is consistent with our human rights obligations and Catholic Social Teaching. This approach is humane and will respect the dignity of all people seeking asylum, including vulnerable children.
We encourage all members of our community to endorse these principles.
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