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Stand up for refugee rights this Sunday

Friday, March 31 2023

Dear Colleague,

As Palm Sunday approaches, we are just at the start of the road to fundamental reform so crucial to the rights and lives of people seeking asylum and refugees.

A big battle for justice lies ahead.

And that’s why it’s so important that we keep raising our voices, standing up and marching for change – for just and humane treatment for all.

Since February this year, we’ve been delighted to be helping so many people to finally get permanency after over a decade of such destructive limbo. This long overdue reform – driven by our mighty collective efforts – is a humane and transformative change for over 19,500 people, their families and our community. Those coming to us for help have been overjoyed and relieved – and desperate to reunite with family.

We now need to seize this momentum and demand major reform and real change across other key policies.

Without this change, the unconscionable damage to many more people’s rights and lives will continue.

While 19,500 people on temporary protection are now eligible for permanency, there are many thousands of people – from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Myanmar – who were refused protection under a deeply flawed process. Although the current Government itself acknowledges the process was fundamentally unfair and should be abolished, these people face further uncertainty and limbo. Without any clear commitment to reassess their cases.

While some have been freed from indefinite detention, many others remain detained at the Government’s whim. And recently, the Government legislated to make it lawful to re-detain many people just freed due to a Federal Court ruling.

Real change demands a big reform agenda and swift action. The reforms must:

  • Abolish mandatory, indefinite detention
  • Establish a reassessment process for people refused temporary protection
  • Increase significantly the Refugee and Humanitarian intake
  • Resolve the situation of all people held in PNG and Nauru, and those brought back, offering enduring protection
  • Establish a fair process for assessing refugee claims

We must continue to battle for an end to the ongoing injustices. We must continue the battle for policies which are just and humane.

Let’s stand with refugees and keep marching for justice at the Palm Sunday Rallies this weekend, and beyond.


David Manne
Refugee Legal
Executive Director & Principal Solicitor

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