ChilOut - Children Out of Immigration Detention
Free the Children in Refugee Week
As part of Refugee Week, ChilOut travelled to Canberra with members of the Australian Coalition to End Immigration Detention of Children. On Monday 15 June – the Free the Children Day of Action – we displayed our cage installation on the Parliament House lawns. Members of the public and parliamentarians were invited to free one of the 231 dolls from the cage as a symbol of freeing a child from detention. ChilOut’s Campaign Coordinator, Claire Hammerton, and two ChilOut Youth Ambassadors, Mohammad Ali Baqiri and Sarah Yahya, were keynote speakers at the event, along with actor and activist Imogen Bailey. Check out our short clip of highlights, including extracts from the stories of our inspiring Youth Ambassadors who came to Australia as child refugees.
During the week we had frank and promising discussions with several key politicians from all the major and minor parties, including Senator Madigan, Senator Lazarus, Richard Marles MP, Senator Sinodinos, Melissa Parke MP, Anne Burke MP, Craig Laundy MP, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Russell Broadbent MP and Senator Hanson-Young. We also received great media coverage. Our Campaign Coordinator and Youth Ambassadors were interviewed by: ABC, Network 10, Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, ABC Radio National, Triple J Radio, 2SM, 2GB and 2SER. Thank you to everyone involved and all our supporters - an incredible and worthwhile event!
Why are children still in detention?According to the latest statistics from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, as at 31 May 2015 there are:
Babies transferred to Nauru and snap rally Baby Asha, born in Darwin this year, was secretly transferred to the Nauru detention centre in the middle of the night with no warning given to her parents. Since the transfer, Asha and her parents have been living in a tent in unsafe and horrific conditions for an adult, let alone a tiny baby. We also know that at least one other baby born in Australia was recently transferred to Nauru. Despite the lack of proper facilities in Nauru, up to 17 more babies born in Australia are due to be transferred to Nauru in the near future.
In conjunction with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, ChilOut is supporting a peaceful rally at Sydney Square (next to the Town Hall) at to call for Baby Asha to be brought back to Australia and for no more babies to be sent to Nauru. Come and join us or support us via social media using the hashtag #bringbackasha. Find more details about the event here. More than 80 children currently detained in Australia and slated for transfer to Nauru. Unless we take action, more will be sent into harm’s way. ChilOut continues to reiterate the call, both publicly and to MPs and Senators, that no child should be sent to Nauru and that all children currently in detention in Nauru should be brought to the Australian mainland as a matter of urgency.
Further sexual assault allegations and imprisonment for reportingWhile the Government has stated that it accepts all the recommendations made by the Moss Review, allegations of sexual assault in Nauru detention centre have continued to emerge. Children are still detained on Nauru despite this mounting evidence, including one allegation that a child as young as two years old was abused.
To make matters worse, a bill has been pushed through Parliament that prevents anyone working in a detention centre from speaking publicly about what they see. From July, contracted workers including doctors, teachers and other professionals could face up to two years in prison for publicly revealing the inadequate medical treatment provided to asylum seekers in detention. Two doctors, including children’s doctor Professor David Isaacs who has spent time in Nauru, have spoken to the media and used a prestigious medical journal to protest against these repressive laws.
ChilOut End of Financial Year AppealWe are so appreciative of the support we receive for the work we do! One of the best ways you can help end children in detention is to make a donation to us via our website – either as a one-off donor or a regular supporter. Donations over $2 are tax deductible so with only hours until the end of financial year, please make a donation now at: www.chilout.org/donate.
Are you a runner (or walker) and interested in raising funds for ChilOut at this year’s City to Surf? Please join our City to Surf team for this year’s run on and help us raise much-needed funds to end child detention. You can sign up to join our City to Surf team or donate to our runners here.
ChilOut - Children out of immigration detention · Australia
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Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2015 1:09 PM
To: MacTiernan, Alannah (MP)
Subject: Re: High court Challenge
So what happened then? My understanding is that Labor members voted to not allow journalists to visit Manus and Nauru, to not allow visits by the Human Rights Commission or other NGOs and to continue the policy of indefinite detention. Where does that leave Labor in relation to a principled policy stance? You had the opportunity to make some difference at the margins, but you passed it up. I will never again vote for a party that locks up children who have committed no crime. When the history of this wretched episode is written, the Labor party will rightly be judged to have let us all down. We deserve better than this.
1 // A three-month limit on detention
2 // Children should be deported to offshore to be locked in detention
3 // Journalists should be allowed in
4 // There should be mandatory reporting of child abuse
5 // The Human Rights Commission should be given access to inspect these camps and report on conditions
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:09 PM
To: Anthony Albanese ; Sharon Bird ; Chris Bowen ; Gai Brodtmann ; Tony Burke ; Anna Burke ; Mark Butler ; Terri Butler ; Anthony Byrne ; Jim Chalmers ; Nick Champion ; Lisa Chesters ; Jason Clare ; Sharon Claydon ; Julie Collins ; Pat Conroy ; Michael Danby ; Mark Dreyfus ; Justine Elliot ; Kate Ellis ; David Feeney ; Laurie Ferguson ; Joel Fitzgibbon ; Andrew Giles ; Gary Gray ; Alan Griffin ; Jill Hall ; Chris Hayes ; Ed Husic ; Stephen Jones ; Catherine King ; Andrew Leigh ; J Macklin ; Alannah MacTiernan ; Richard Marles ; Rob Mitchell ; Shayne Neumann ; Brendan OConnor ; Clare Oneil ; Julie Owens ; Melissa Parke ; Graham Perrett ; Tanya Plibersek ; Bernie Ripoll ; Amanda Rishworth ; Michelle Rowland ; Joanne Ryan ; Bill Shorten ; Warren Snowdon ; Wayne Swan ; Matt Thistlethwaite ; Kelvin Thomson ; Maria Vamvakinou ; Tim Watts ; Tony Zappia
Cc: RAR Bellingen Nambucca ; Mike Griffin
Mike's original letter http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/put-pressure-on-labor-senators-about.html
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) passed an excellent new policy on asylum seekers and refugees at its May National Congress. The ACTU is the peak body of 46 unions representing 1.8 million workers across Australia.We ask for your support in publicising this policy as widely as possible, and encouraging people to take action on it.Please:
1. Read the policy, and distribute it any way you can: at work, by email, on facebook.2. Write to your union's leadership to congratulate them on supporting the policy.3. Think about ways you can encourage your union to implement the policy. Unions for Refugees is happy to organise refugee speakers for meetings and a stall at union conferences. We can provide leaflets for workplaces and union induction and training courses.The ACTU's new policy should be read in full, but some of the main points:- recognise that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right- calls for onshore processing of applications for asylum, and for the detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island to be closed- calls upon government to ensure that there is no discrimination in the processing of applications for asylum based on people's mode of arrival- calls on Australia to increase its intake of refugees to meet the levels received by other industrialised countries- calls on Australian parliamentarians take leadership and reframe the national debate about refugees and asylum seekers- calls for Temporary Protection Visas to be abolished- calls for an end to turn-backs of boats carrying asylum seekers- condemns the Australian government's Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia and calls on aid agencies to desist in assisting the re-settlement of asylum seekers in Cambodia- condemns indefinite detention of asylum seekers and refugees, and says that mandatory detention is not necessary- calls on the federal government to stop the outsourcing of detention to private, for-profit companies- calls for the extension of the right to work to asylum seekers- opposes forcible dep
sent by National RAR
This is Refugee Week (14-20 June) and I would like to take this opportunity to point out four facts about refugees and asylum seekers that are often misunderstood.
Fact 1: It is not a crime to come to Australia by boat without a visa and ask for protection. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution, which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human rights are basic freedoms that everyone is entitled to and they are hard won by many people making huge sacrifices over a long period of time. They are not to be let go of because of a spurious fear campaign.
Fact 2: There is no official queue for people coming to Australia seeking a safe place to live. The United Nations process of resettlement is complex and changing. It is more like a lottery than a queue.
Fact 3: Only 1% of the worlds’ refugees are likely to be given safe haven in any given year.
Fact 4: There are almost 18 million refugees and asylum seekers in the world.
I think that the most important first step that people can make on this important issue is to imagine what you would do if you were in a situation where you were being persecuted because of your religion, your skin colour, your ethnicity, or your political beliefs. If your daughters were threatened with rape, your sons with being press-ganged into a militia.
Read the stories of refugees or watch some of the many documentaries. Through all the trauma and despair you will find a story of hope. Hope that ones children do not have to suffer the same traumas.
Is it any wonder that asylum seekers would like to come here. We have the rule of law, a country at peace, the only continent with no landmines, a generous people with “boundless plains to share”.
To be sure, we can’t take everybody, there needs to be a process, and that is a discussion that needs to continue. But let us not succumb to populist fears of invasion by the “other”.
Turning back the boats: our integrity lost at sea
Level 4, 464 Kent St, Sydney NSW 2000
KEY SURVEY FINDINGS
Question: Is there an official queue that all people who come to Australia seeking asylum could join if they chose to?
· 65% of people think there is an official queue all people who come to Australia seeking asylum could join if they chose to.
· 71% of people over 55 think there is an official queue that people who come to Australia seeking asylum could join if they chose to.
Question: Is it a crime under Australian law to arrive here by boat without a valid visa and ask for protection? Answer: No
· 69% of people said it is a crime under Australian law to arrive here by boat without a valid visa and ask for protection.
Question: Roughly how many refugees and asylum seekers are there in the world? Answer: About 18 million