#FairGoForFamilies: A Campaign for Family Reunion
Just as the intimate connection between the family and society demands that the family be open to and participate in society and its development, so also it requires that society should never fail in its fundamental task of respecting and fostering the family.In the conviction that the good of the family is an indispensable and essential value of the civil community, the public authorities must do everything possible to ensure that families have all those aids – economic, social, educational, political and cultural assistance – that they need in order to face all their responsibilities in a human way.
Familiaris Consortio (Family partnership) Pope John Paul II 1981
It is this thinking about the place of family within society that is behind our campaign for a #FairGoForFamilies. Along with other groups, we are calling for greater access to family reunion for people in the Australian community who have had their claims for refugee status confirmed.
Currently getting visas for family reunion can be a difficult, expensive and very long process: for many it is not even possible. Policy changes are needed for the refugees and their families: changes that will have social and economic benefits for Australia generally.
What is needed?
In brief we believe there should be consultation with refugee communities, more visas, needs-based concessions, shorter process times with less costs and no restrictions because of arriving by boat.
Policy changes we are seeking from the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten
Allocate at least 5,000 visas under the family stream of the Migration Program for refugee and humanitarian entrants.
Introduce needs-based concessions under the family stream of the Migration Program
Conduct a consultation with refugee communities, practitioners involved in providing support with family reunion applications and other relevant stakeholders
Reduce processing times, increase funding to support the process and remove restrictions to family reunion to people arriving by boat
Reduce the associated costs, increase the allocated places and decouple Community
Proposal Pilot/Community Support Program from the offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Program.
What you can do
You can reads some about the experiences of people who have had both positive and negative experiences of family reunion in Australia on the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) website.
You can also read an article by Fr Andy Hamilton exploring why, as Catholics, this issue is of particular importance. We’ve also put together an overview for schools on why they should get involved in this issue.
Want to do more?
Sign this pledge to show your support for refugee families and their right to be with their families. We believe families deserve to be together and that our government should not stand in the way of people being happy and prosperous.
We believe in a #FairGoForFamilies. Do you?
Sign the pledge today.