Australia has been a safe home for refugees since 1945, when half a million Europeans displaced by World War II were granted asylum. In 1954, Australia signed the UN Refugee Convention – making the commitment to not send refugees back to a place where they may be persecuted.
Since then, waves of refugees have come to Australia from across the world – but not everyone has been welcomed equally. In 2013, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stated that no asylum seeker who arrived by boat would get permanent protection in Australia. There are now thousands of refugees in Australia who have held temporary protection visas for up to a decade, unable to build stable lives. A UN Human Rights Council working group has condemned Australia’s cruel practice of indefinitely incarcerating people seeking asylum. In welcomed news, the government has recently evacuated all asylum seekers off Nauru, and expanded the refugee program. However, the continued detention of people in PNG and the cut to income support for people seeking asylum means there is still more to be done.
Australia has a long history of welcoming refugees to its shores, and is home to a diverse multicultural population of… More
Refugees bring strength, resilience and many talents to the Australian community. The Australian government’s shameful legacy of detention and unfair processes must end so we can make people seeking asylum feel safe and welcome in Australia
Frances Rush OAM
Asylum Seekers Centre CEO
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