Actions to take
WRITE TO THE MINISTER
There have been so many disappointing developments relating to children seeking asylum in recent weeks, here is a re-cap. What can you do... write to the Minister. We know, it's hardly a new strategy but it is a useful one. For every letter MPs receive in support of humane asylum seeker policy they receive 20 against. There are families and children who need you to turn the numbers in their favour!
Below is a sample letter based on most recent events / announcements. Please copy / paste as you see fit, feel free to address all three issues, one or two. And please add your own personal touch. Generic emails are one thing, your own perspective is far more powerful. If emailing, consider a subject line that stands out. Bold sections are for you to edit yourself
Minister Brendan O'Connor.
MAIL: Level 2, 13 Lake Street, Caroline Springs, Victoria 3023
Phone: 03 8390 6166 or 02 6277 7860
cc your local MP Find your electorate. Then, find your local member
Dear Minister O'Connor
Your recent announcement that families with children would be released from immigration detention is most welcome. I was thrilled to hear this, until more details became apparent. I cannot imagine trying to live in *****(your town / city), being told I cannot support myself by earning a wage and receiving no housing assistance, very little other support and trying to provide for children. I agree with you that detention is harmful, so is living on or below the poverty line. I ask that you reconsider the level of support and right to work issues for asylum seekers whom I look forward to welcoming into my community.
Your decision to send families and children to detention in Curtin and Wickham Pt seems completely at odds with your own comment about the harm caused by detention, the advice of professionals and common sense. As parent / aunt / grandfather I cannot imagine my *** locked up indefinitely
There has been increasing discussion about budgets and expenditure on asylum policy. It seems straightforward to me; spend less on remote, expensive, harmful detention facilities that don't deter anyone and more spent on community options. This would still leaving money for the many domestic items requiring budget attention.
As for the decision of the Senate to excise Australia from Australia! I could not beleive what I was hearing and concur with former Immigration Minister that 'this will be a stain on our nation's character'. How can we devise so many cruel treatments for vulnerable people. If it is to save lives at sea, that simply is not true and has not worked, numbers arriving since your Government re-opened Manus Is and Nauru detention facilities show there is no stemming of numbers undertaking the dangerous boat journey.
It's amazing how many people do not know that there are children locked in immigration detention facilities. Here are some drawings from children detained on Manus Island. An interview with a young person detained on Manus and more exclusive info. Share it all with as many people as you can.
Demand natural justice in Australia
Welcome Mark Dreyfus to his new role as Federal Attorney General and call for one of his first actions to be the upholding of justic in this country. Let him know that you do not agree with children being locked up indefinitely with no means whatsoever to challenge their detention. Ranjini and her three sons aged 6, 9 and a newborn, join 45 other people found to be refugees who have received adverse ASIO findings that they cannot challenge and can't even know the content of. Their reality, life in detention. Read more. Contact Mark Dreyfus Write to Ranjini.