This coming Tuesday 7 February 2017, Australia is set to introduce a LIFETIME BAN on refugees who arrive by boat. This will affect all people seeking asylum who arrived after 19 July 2013. This law is cruel and inhumane. It contravenes Australia’s international responsibility under the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951. Australia’s treatment of refugees has been condemned by the United Nations and by the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention 2014.
My regular readers would know that Australia has been imprisoning refugees indefinitely in offshore detention centres since 2001. This new law would mean all those still in detention and other people seeking asylum by boat will never be allowed their human right to find safety in Australia.
Why is the ban for “boat refugees” only? The biggest groups of refugees come by air. People arriving by boat make up the minority of asylum seekers! They are the poorest from our region. They are also predominantly from Muslim-majority nations. This law represents racial discrimination by the state.
How you can stop this!
It’s not too late to make a difference! Australians, call, email or use social media to appeal to the cross-benchers below. For readers outside of Australia – Australians stand up for injustices internationally, as I have done for many conflicts and unfair political decisions outside of my country. Please take action, even if it’s just a social media post!
If you call or post on Facebook, see the suggested script below by RISE.
If you tweet, you could use this text:
.@XXX the proposal of impose a lifetime ban on refugees goes against our humanity. Please vote NO to this proposal #blockthebill
Senator Derryn Hinch
(02) 6277 3168
1300 498 035
Facebook. Twitter: @HumanHeadline
Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore
(02) 6277 3178
(08) 8232 0440
Facebook. Twitter: @SenatorSkye
Senator David Leyonhjelm
(02) 6277 3054
1300 884 092
Senator Stirling Griff
(02) 6277 3713
1300 556 115
Senator Jacqui Lambie
(02) 6277 3063
(03) 6431 2233
Senator Nick Xenophon
(02) 6277 3713
1300 556 115
Suggested script for call:
“Hi my name is …(name, if comfortable disclosing).. and I am calling from …(location)… I would like to express my concern and discontent with the proposal of imposing a lifetime ban on refugees. This goes against the Refugee Convention and International Law. It also goes against our humanity and morality as we should be assisting those in need of protection. Please vote NO to this proposal or you will lose my vote”
[Images: 1) two hands
the wrist, making the “x” or “no” sign, with text: Australia #BlockTheBill. Say no to lifetime ban of refugees. 2) Black background with text: Cross-bench senators. Their names, email and phone numbers are then listed as above.]
Images and other ways to help: RISE.