Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum Condemns Offshore Detention Plans
MEDIA RELEASE – THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2016
The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) has condemned the Australian Government’s plans to return 267 vulnerable people to Nauru following yesterday’s High Court ruling that offshore detention is lawful.
This number includes 91 children and 37 babies born in Australia, whom with their families now face an indefinite stay in an unsafe environment.
CAPSA believes that the policy under which the High Court decision was made is unjustifiable and unnecessary, and a breach of Australia’s responsibility to respect the human dignity and lives of those in its care. The Alliance was founded on a number of principles, including the desire for Australia to lead a more humane, ordered response to processing the claims of people seeking asylum.
CAPSA believes that people who come to Australia seeking protection should not be transferred from Australian territory to other nations for processing or protection unless there is a firm regional agreement assuring that they will have equivalent rights and support in the countries to which they are transferred, and that they will be promptly resettled if found to be refugees.
CAPSA also believes that arbitrary or indefinite detention at any stage of the refugee determination process is unacceptable and that children should not be held in detention in Australia or in offshore detention centres, but housed in the Australian community with the full range of services necessary for their welfare.
The events of the past 24 hours go against these principles, which we believe must be followed to create a fair and just Australia.
In 2014, the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum was formed to turn hearts and minds to compassion. We dream of an Australia that welcomes and respects people seeking asylum. We will achieve this by building on the groundswell of support from Australian Catholics; linking people together, and creating a collective Catholic voice for change. Together, we will advocate for policy changes to better uphold the dignity and rights of each person seeking asylum.
Media enquiries: contact Kathryn Kernohan at Jesuit Social Services, 0409 901 248 or Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit: http://www.capsa.org.au