December 2017 Bulletin
CATHOLIC ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE SEEKING ASYLUM
DECEMBER 2017 BULLETIN
We believe that together we CAN make a difference, starting with small acts of kindness and hospitality and becoming a collective voice demanding more compassionate asylum seeker policies.
Fair Go For Families campaign
In early December representatives of Jesuit Social Services (who also participated on behalf of CAPSA) joined forces with the Refugee Council of Australia to raise the issue of family reunification for refugees directly with a number of federal MPs at Parliament House in Canberra. Two refugees with lived experience of seeking to reunite with their immediate families across borders were on hand to share their experiences and what it means to have their families finally back together.
The pain of family separation has been a key concern for refugee communities in Australia. The tragedy of forcible displacement often means that refugee families are split across borders in their efforts to reach safety. The Fair Go For Families campaign is working to overcome barriers to family reunification faced by many refugees in Australia.
In this Christmas season we recall the Holy Family, who shared the same pain of forced displacement and vulnerability encountered by refugee families today. Let us stand in prayerful solidarity with all those families separated across borders.
“To welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”: Pope Francis calls for solidarity with migrants and refugees
In his message for the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be commemorated on 14 January 2018, Pope Francis has called for the international community “to respond to the many challenges of contemporary migration with generosity, promptness, wisdom and foresight”.
The Pope reminds us that the Church has a particular concern for migrants and refugee, as “every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age”.
In 2018, the international community will be working towards two ‘global compacts’, for migrants and refugees. The Pope’s message calls for these compacts to be defined by four verbs: “to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate”. As such, the Pope advocates for increased opportunities for family reunification, alternative solutions to detention, access to employment and protection from exploitation. On 4 December 2017, the Pope reiterated these themes in his video address to an international meeting preparing the two Global Compacts.
On behalf of the CAPSA Team we thank you for your support over the past year and wish you a safe and peaceful Christmas. We look forward to continuing to unite our voices so that Australia can respond in a compassionate and humane way to Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all (by Richard Flanagan)
A letter from Manus Island (by Behrouz Boochani)