Photo: United Nations
Photo: United Nations

Australia: EI affiliate IEU calls for a new, just and humane approach to asylum seekers

published 18 October 2017 updated 11 June 2018

In a joint call with leaders of Australia’s major charities and social service groups, the Independent Education Union (IEU) is looking to change the government’s policy towards refugees and migrants in Australia.

The more than 200 signatories believe Australia needs a more “humane” approach to asylum seekers and in particular, should abandon its current offshore approach toprocessing applications for international protection. The call was issued following the adoption of a historic High Court ruling that declared the Malaysia refugee swap deal invalid.

The groups call for six different actions to be taken.

The first one invites the major political parties to respect any type of implications of the ruling, including not sending asylumseekers “to uncertainty in other countries and (…) present[ing it] as ajust or credible response to the needs of people seeking refuge and protection in Australia”.

The next action is for the Australian government to use this ruling to change the debate about the refugee crisis. They also want the Australian Government to rule out offshore processing and mandatory detention, and allow these asylumseekersto be put into communities until they hear their decisions.

Another request is to process all asylumseekers onshore, instead of spending money deporting people overseas.

The last two points are to increase Australia’s refugee and humanitarian intake in the region, by resettling 4000 Malaysian refugees and continuing to work towards a regional solution for the treatment of asylumseekers and refugees.

The call is available on IEU’s website: http://www.ieu.org.au/index.php/policy-submissions/social-justice/asylum-seekers-and-refugees