On September 20th, a resolution by the NSWNA Committee of Delegates was carried which supports a statement by ACOSS – Australian Council of Social Services, to end the offshore processing of asylum seekers. Read the resolution and statement below.
NSW Nurses’ Association
Committee of Delegates
20 September 2011
The fate of displaced populations is a global concern and Australia must honour its responsibilities under the UN Refugee Convention. This Committee of Delegates supports the ACOSS statement calling for an end to offshore processing of asylum seekers and lobbies Unions NSW and the ACTU to do the same.
ACOSS Statement About Asylum Seekers and Refugees
Australia needs a new approach to asylum seekers and refugees
A statement by over 200 charities, community and grass roots organisations from cities, regional and remote areas around the county.
Following last week’s historic High Court ruling that declared the Malaysia refugee swap deal invalid, Australia’s community sector is calling on the Australian Government to abandon the current fixation with offshore ‘solutions’ and to establish a just and humane approach to Australia’s response to people seeking asylum.
Leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service groups have been joined by other concerned grass roots organisations to sign a statement urging both major political parties to de-politicise policies about the treatment of asylum seekers by immediately abandoning the policy of offshore processing and focusing on policies that uphold Australia’s human rights obligations domestically and internationally.
Instead of considering changes to the agreement with Malaysia or to the Migration Act, or looking at other offshore solutions, the groups urge Australia to abandon off-shore processing altogether. Australia should use the High Court ruling as a definitive turning point for the way we have approached the treatment of people seeking asylum over the past decade. The High Court ruling should be a watershed to reform Australia’s stance on asylum seekers in line with our international obligations.
As a group, the signatories to this Statement call for:
The groups urge all political parties and Members of Parliament to stop using policies regarding asylum seekers to foster misunderstanding, social division and distrust, and instead use it as an opportunity to get on with the job of fulfilling Australia’s commitment under the Refugee Convention to treat people humanely, process applications for asylum onshore, and promote the better treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in our region.
As a country, we must adopt just and humane policies about the treatment of people seeking asylum and in so doing raise the level of debate and treatment of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Only then will Australia be able to hold its head high in the international community as a nation with a commitment to human rights and a deep appreciation of the plight of people seeking a safe haven from persecution and a better way of life.
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