This page contains resources and materials for refugee rights stalls and events.
To Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, August 2012
Outlining alternatives to offshore processing and mandatory detention, and measures to prevent asylum seekers having to risk their lives at sea
Upcoming events material
Model motions for union branch meetings
Motion passed at ACTU 2012 Congress
This meeting of the [union name and branch] notes:
(i) that the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and that the Afghan government cannot provide safety for asylum seekers returned to any area of Afghanistan, including Kabul; (ii) that according to a UN report there are “credible allegations and evidence” that the Sri Lanka military, headed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, committed war crimes, and that thousands of Tamils remain in government controlled internment camps; (iii) that the Australian government cannot guarantee the human rights or the safety of asylum seekers deported to Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.
This meeting of [union name and branch] members therefore recognises that it is not safe to deport asylum seekers to either Afghanistan or Sri Lanka, and resolves to oppose any attempt to forcibly remove asylum seekers to Afghanistan or Sri Lanka.
We therefore: (i) call on the Australian government to refrain from deporting asylum seekers to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka; and (ii) call on state Labor councils and the ACTU to convene a meeting of appropriate unions to discuss union action, including industrial action, to both campaign against and to take action to prevent asylum seekers being deported to danger.
Download a word document with the motions below at this link
(i) Malaysia Solution and third country offshore processing
This union [name/meeting] notes that the UNHCR is not a signatory to the agreement between the Australian and Malaysian government to deport 800 asylum seekers from Australia to Malaysia. We believe the agreement violates the rights of asylum seekers and undermines the Refugee Convention. While we believe that Australia can raise its humanitarian refugee intake to bring more refugee from Malaysia, this must not be at the expense of the protection of others’ human rights. Further, we note that off-shore third country processing (in Malaysia, Manus Island or anywhere else) is an attempt by the Australian government to avoid its obligation to properly process and protect asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.
We therefore call on the Gillard government to (a) terminate its “refugee transfer” agreement to deport asylum seekers to Malaysia; (ii) end any further attempts to establish third country agreements to process asylum seekers from Australia, and (iii) commit to receive and process all asylum seekers seeking protection in Australia.
(ii) Mandatory detention
This union [name/meeting] notes that Australia is the only OECD country that practises the mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and that the policy has been condemned by both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navy Pilay and by Australia’s own Human Rights Commissioner. Its discriminatory treatment of asylum seekers violates the Refugee Convention. Such is the distress caused by mandatory detention that Commonwealth Ombudsman’s has initiated an inquiry into the alarmingly high level of self-harm endemic in Australia’s detention system.
We therefore call on the government to immediately end the mandatory detention of asylum seekers and allow asylum seekers to live in the community while their claims are being processed.
(iii) Off-shore processing
This union [name/meeting] notes that the Australian government, by maintaining the excision of Australian territory from the effect of the Migration Act, administers two systems to process asylum seekers – one for those who arrive on-shore and another for those intercepted at sea or who arrive at excised places such as Christmas Island.
The off-shore processing system of asylum seekers on Christmas Island is discriminatory, lacks transparency and independent oversight.
We therefore call on the Gillard government to end off-shore processing and create one transparent and accountable system of processing the applications of all asylum seekers in Australia.