Seeking asylum is not a crime. It is a right that is upheld by the laws of this land as well as the UN Refugee Convention that this country has pledged to support. Yet in recent times, successive Australian governments have begun to fundamentally disregard this pledge. People imprisoned in detention centres as a consequence of seeking asylum in Australia include children. Within the context of the world, Australia only receives 0.3% from the world refugee population of over 50 million.
RISE strongly believes that detention centres should not exist in any capacity. Further, we do not endorse any refugee movement, organisation or policy that creates a refugee scheme to imprison refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres. For that matter we do not endorse any movement or policy that violates any group of people’s civil rights.
RISE urges the public not to be misled by the justifications for the current cruel treatment of refugees and asylum seekers coming to Australia on boats or planes. We encourage the public to support our campaign to put an end to mandatory detention and adopt alternative solutions that are legal and ethical. We believe it is the duty of all Australian citizens and residents to oppose policies that increase marginalisation and discrimination in society.
Our campaigns seek to:
- End mandatory and arbitrary detention of asylum seekers and implement more effective, just and humane alternatives.
- Ensure preliminary assessment including medical checks and security checks are done while asylum seekers are in the community.
- Make Australia‘s refugee and asylum seeker policies part of a global solution for victims of war and persecution. To achieve this, the government should ensure that refugee and asylum seeker communities have a more active participatory role in the policy making process.
- Ensure independent bodies such as refugee and asylum seeker advocacy groups and humanitarian organisations are part of a more transparent and accountable refugee and humanitarian visa application and settlement process.
- Increase the offshore humanitarian intake quota and delink this quota from numbers of people arriving within territorial waters and onshore, as well as any other immigration programs such as split family reunion.
- Ensure all refugees are settled as soon as possible when they arrive in Australia and are given access to permanent housing, education opportunities and other essential services.
- Ensure government policy and legislation be implemented in close consultation with independent refugee advocates, independent monitoring agencies, and various community groups including, most importantly, the refugee community itself, at both the national and international level for a more sustainable, durable, just and humane approach to the settlement of asylum seekers and refugees.