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Edmund Rice Centre

15 Henley Rd
(PO Box 2219)
Homebush West,
NSW 2140
AUSTRALIA

Ph:  (02) 8762 4200
Fx:  (02) 8762 4220

Int'l Ph: +61 2 8762 4200
Int'l Fx: +61 2 8762 4220

Email: erc@erc.org.au

Located just 100 metres to the south of Flemington Railway Station. Link to new location on Google Maps

Brisbane Annexe

5 Abingdon St
(Postal: 84 Park Rd)
Woolloongabba,
QLD 4102

Ph 1: (07) 3103 7376
Ph 2: (02) 8090 1976
Fax: (02) 8762 4220

Staffed part-time
 - please call for appt

 

media releases publications research submissions resources ERC event photos

Announcements

PCP Media: 'Climate justice!' Pacific call at UN SIDS conference in Samoa - 29th Aug 2014

MEDIA RELEASE Sydney, Friday, 29th August 2014
Delegation leaving Sydney to promote human rights perspective on Pacific climate change impact.

A delegation of four climate change advocates from the Pacific Calling Partnership will leave Sydney today for the Samoan capital, Apia to promote the calls of Pacific communities for 'climate justice' at the 3rd UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, 'SIDS'.

“The fears of Pacific Island communities in climate-vulnerable atoll nations continue to grow as impacts of climate change incrementally disrupt traditional living in our home villages,” said Pacific Calling Partnership spokesperson Maria Tiimon Chi-fang.

Read more

PCP Media Release

Failed asylum seekers: Sri Lanka -- Interim Reseach Update, Aug 2014

Out of grave concern formed from revelations of the ongoing and systemic mistreatment of asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka, evidence collected by ERC is made available here in this Interim Research Update in the form of the following case note summaries.

In 2014, serious allegations of mistreatment are borne out in a number cases of returned failed asylum-seekers in the entire period since the UN Committee Against Torture expressed concerns in 2011.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia is well aware that those charged in Sri Lanka under S45C of the country's Immigrants and Emigrants Act may be held without bail for an indefinite period of time.  This ERC Interim Research Update confirms that a practice of indefinite detention is being systematically conducted by Sri Lanka.

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ERC Interim Research Update

PCP Media: Young Pacific KATEP leaders leave strong climate message to Austrsalians - 4th June 2014

Release: PCP Media, Sydney, 4th June 2014
Young Pacific leaders from Kiribati and Tuvalu depart Sydney with powerful message to Australia’s Government and people:-
    "Please don’t forget our people. Act on climate change now!"

Four young leaders from Kiribati and Tuvalu are heading home today after spending two weeks in Australia doing intensive advocacy and media training at the Edmund Rice Centre in Sydney. It is fitting that they will arrive home on World Environment Day, as the theme this year raises a call for solidarity with Small Island Developing States in the face of their vulnerability to climate change.

The pilot project for the Kiribati Australia Tuvalu Exchange Program (KATEP) took place in Sydney and Canberra between May 19 to June 4 2014. The young leaders met with a parliamentarians, church and community leaders, and school groups. Their powerful testimonies presented in word, song and dance were covered extensively on national radio, television and in newspapers.

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PCP Media release

PCP Media: Young Pacific Leaders deliver urgent call in Canberra -- 27 May 2014

Release - PCP Media: Canberra, 27th May 2014
Young Pacific leaders deliver urgent call in Canberra:-
    "We have a right to our future in our island homes"

A group of young leaders from Kiribati and Tuvalu are this week visiting parliamentarians in Canberra to encourage the parliamentarians and the people of Australia to rethink their climate change policies.

Spokesperson for the group, Maina Talia from Tuvalu, said: "We have come all the way from our islands because we care about the lives of our children whose contribution to climate change is next to nothing but who may not be able to call Kiribati or Tuvalu home."

"For us this is not about politics, nor economics, but it is about survival of culture, our language and our identity." said Boraueanimakin Tiannere (Tebby) from Kiribati.

The young leaders are in Australia as part of an initiative of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP) a program of the Edmund Rice Centre.

Read more

PCP Media Release

Migration Agents: achieve professional development whilst volunteering at ERC in 2014

The Edmund Rice Centre is approved by the Australian Government's Migration Agents Registration Authority ('MARA') to provide continuing professional development (CPD) for registered migration agents.

As a migration agent you may gain your required CPD points by working in a voluntary capacity with ERC. Volunteer agents will be supervised by migration agents with over 10 years' experience.

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Just Comment Vol 17 No 1: Roma people

Roma people… stigmatised, discriminated against and still no homeland

Roma people have faced stigmatisation, discrimination and marginalisation for centuries in Europe - enduring wars, a lack of cultural understanding, prejudice and hardship.

With over 500,000 killed by the Nazis, they remain forgotten victims of 20th century genocides, where as survivors they were refused assistance and compensation.

And yet exclusion, prejudice and poverty have continued. Average life expectancy in Europe is 10 to 15 years less than for other Europeans. Roma communities occupy the lowest rung of the economic ladder of European residents with over 75% living below the poverty line.

Read more

ERC Just Comment Vol 17 No 1: Roma people

ERC Media: Asylum visa freeze 'petty' -- 4th Dec 2013

“The Government’s decision to suspend the granting of new permanent protection visas for asylum seekers is a new low in Australia’s treatment of some of the world’s most vulnerable people,” Edmund Rice Centre director, Phil Glendenning said today.

“By capping onshore protection visas at just 1,650 places, the Government is condemning refugees who have already been found to be owed protection by Australia, to a life of fear and uncertainty on bridging visas,” he said. 

“This policy announcement from the Government, in response to the defeat in the Senate of their attempt to reintroduce Temporary Protection Visa legislation, is a petty act. This is partisan politics at its worst,” Mr Glendenning stated.

“Australians would rightly be ashamed of a Federal Government that is so willing to inflict cruelty and punishment on people fleeing persecution and torture, simply in order to teach their political opponents a lesson.

Read more

ERC Media Release: Asylum visa freeze petty -- 4 Dec 2013

Just Comment Vol 16 No 5: The Majuro Declaration

The coral atolls and other low-lying islands that dot the Pacific Ocean are just a few meters above sea-level. These islands will experience a higher sea level rise than other parts of the world and Pacific peoples are already exposed to the adverse effects of climate change, something that is not of their own doing.  Pacific Island nations cannot afford to wait any longer; that is a luxury belonging to developed nations.  They are compelled to attend to their very survival.

The plight of Pacific peoples was given a strong shake-up on the fifth of September this year by Pacific Island Leaders gathered at the 45th Pacific Islands Forum representing fourteen South Pacific Islands spread throughout a vast area of 3.5 million square kilometres of ocean: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

In Majuro, capital of the Marshall Islands, Forum members, together with Australia and New Zealand, signed the “Majuro Declaration for Climate Leadership.” The significance of the document lies precisely in the firm political leadership of the Pacific Islands. Now, stepping up to even greater leadership, they “commit to being Climate Leaders.” Because “to lead is to act” they make a compelling case for others to follow their lead.

Tired of waiting for others to “go first,” the Pacific’s plucky new approach recognises that developed countries have other agendas, but at the same time “if the Pacific Islands disappear… it will be too late for everyone else.” This echoes the assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Read more

ERC Just Comment 16.5 Majuro Declaration

ERC Media: Salvadoran advocate says 'No!' to death from OceanaGold mine (ASX: OGC) -- 11 Nov 2013

A plea to Australia: Put life & dignity before gold & profit
Edmund Rice Centre: 'A difficult courageous story from El Salvador – but one that inspires.'

"Courageous and determined," is how Edmund Rice Centre Education Officer Sean Cleary describes visiting grass-roots environmental advocate from El Salvador, Ms Vidalina Morales. "The story that Vidalina brings to Australia from her community is frightening and outrageous, but also inspirational - to hear how the people of these rural worker communities have been able to unite to confront a multi-national mining company and so far, to forestall the threat that this gold-mine would pose to their water-supply, to their farm-lands, to their lives and to the lives of their children," Mr Cleary said.

Vidalina has arrived in Australia to commence today a two week speaking tour "Water Not Gold" to raise awareness of the threat posed to the people of her village by the plans of Australian mining company OceanaGold to reopen production in a long-abandoned gold mine in El Salvador’s Cabañas province.  

"El Salvador is a tiny country” affirmed Vidalina. “It is one of the most densely populated countries in the Americas which has led to a major problem of deforestation and this in turn has led to serious shortages of water in our communities."

Read more

ERC Release: Advocate says 'No!' to mining death from Oceanagold Corp (ASX: OGC) -- 11 Nov 2013

ERC Publication for Educators: Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource

The focus is on real people and their stories

The Edmund Rice Centre's Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource provides activities for students which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy.

The Education Resource, available to download at no cost, offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, students with special needs and with community groups.

Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.
Read more

Promotional flyer of the new schools resource on asylum seekers

ERC Advocacy: Open letter to PM - Asylum seeking is NOT 'illegal' -- 6 Nov 2013

The Edmund Rice Centre has joined with a broad national coalitions of organisations calling for action from Prime Minister Tony Abbott to end the deliberate misrepresentation of asylum seekers that is being perpetrated by Government Ministers and MP's.

The  coalition of 138 not-for-profit organisations has called for Prime Minister Abbott to stop the Government’s characterisation of asylum seekers arriving by boat as “illegal maritime arrivals”.

A joint letter, coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) and supported by non-government agencies, faith-based organisations and community groups, has been sent to Mr Abbott. ERC director, Phil Glendenning was last month re-elected as President of the Refugee Council.

Read more

Open letter to PM: Asylum is NOT illegal

ERC Media: Call on PM Abbott to visit low-lying Pacific nations

[PCP Media] Islanders call on Abbott and Bishop to visit low lying Pacific nations
Sydney, Thursday 3rd October 2013
Australian Islander Community seeks stronger climate action in line with latest IPCC Report.

“Australia’s commitment to reduce our emissions by 5% below 2000 levels by 2020, is by no means an adequate response to the evidence,” said Pacific Calling Partnership spokesperson Maria Tiimon Chi-fang speaking at a community gathering in Sydney.

“Nor is it appropriate or sufficient given Australia’s support for the Majuro Declaration on Climate Leadership, launched in September at the 2013 Pacific Island Forum.”

“I urge Prime Minister Abbott to reconfirm his support for the Majuro Declaration, and substantially reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.

"Cutting 4.5 billion from the overseas aid budget, as well as cutting out key climate change policy infrastructure in Australia, makes me question the Australian Government’s commitment to the survival of our Pacific Island nations.” said Ms Tiimon Chi-fang, community outreach officer for the Pacific Calling Partnership.

“I call on our Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister to visit my home country,” Ms Tiimon Chi-fang, now an Australian citizen, said.

“Not until they can see the human face of climate change will they fully understand the consequences of their inaction for my people.

Read more

PCP Media Release

Just Comment Vol 16 No 4: Sanctions

Sanctions are not an alternative to war. They seem invisible, but their effects are highly visible. Deliberately crippling a nation’s economy is nothing less than war. With the imposition of sanctions ordinary Iranians are increasingly caught in the crosshairs.

Sanctions actually lead to increased repression and corruption as well as sow the seeds of further alienation between the people of Iran and the United States. Australia joined with the United States in imposing sanctions against Iran with the aim of preventing it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

It is not true that sanctions are ‘targeted.’ The true nature of so-called ‘targeted’ sanctions in Iran was revealed before the escalation of sanctions. U.S. and European Union sanctions ‘seriously endangered the lives of tens of thousands of patients, particularly children, suffering from special diseases.’

Read more

ERC Just Comment 16.4 Sanctions on Iran

Just Comment Vol 16 No 3: Climate Justice

To our North and East of Australia lie the Pacific Islands, a vast region that is at the forefront of human induced climate change.

Within this collection of archipelagos and atolls lie Kiribati, Tuvalu, and the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), whose people have seen the quality of their lives deteriorate from the impact of rising sea temperatures and tides. Human induced climate change is the cause, and is exacerbating existing human development issues that face the atolls.

That the world needs to reduce its emissions can no longer be in doubt if these island nations are to remain intact, both as a collection of land and as cultural groups, by the end of the century.

Australia, as the highest per capita greenhouse gas emitter in the world and their neighbour, can and must do more to lead the way in reducing emissions.

At our current rate, we are likely to see a rise in sea levels of 0.6 metres and 4 degrees in temperature by 2100.  This is a fearful prospect for our low lying neighbours.

Read more

ERC Just Comment 16.3 Climate Justice

ERC International Human Rights Immersion: Central America -- July 2012

A formation program for people wishing to develop new and profound perspectives to their existing frameworks and commitment to social justice & reconciliation. The program will emphasise the use of a rights-based approach in development work and in systemic advocacy for social justice.  
  
The immersion aims to foster engagement with the international partner organisations visited, and to bring about transformational education for justice. International immersion experiences develop a new and internalised sense of our world, and of structures of inequity within it, from the perspectives of the economically excluded.    
   
El Salvador & Guatemala: Within processes of post -conflict social reconciliation, few places provide better examples of the use of programs of ‘recovery of historic memory’ as human rights strategies to confront structural impunity and to build social justice.  In our visit to the region we will meet with people who have risked all in the struggle for social justice in these countries. These are people who continue to be willing to put their lives on the line for the construction of a better society.

Read more

ERC Human Rights Immersion - July 2012

A Well-Founded Fear -- Nationally televised documentary on Asylum Seekers

 
Sign the on-line petition to reopen the cases of Asylum Seekers that Australia has "deported to danger"
Please donate to ERC so we may continue our work to support refugees and asylum seekers

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Latest News: (1) Teacher Resource: Asylum Seekers & Refugees -- (2) PCP Media: Islander climate call to PM Abbott -- (3) Just Comment 17.1: Roma People

 

Recent Publications from ERC

Asylum Seekers - Schools Resource

ERC Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource Student Activities

ERC's publication Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource provides activities for students which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy. 

This 52 page resource is available for download at no cost, and offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, with students with special needs, and with community groups.

Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.

Read more 

Doha Diary: PCP at COP18

26th Nov - 7th Dec 2012
COP18 progress reports from PCP delegates at Doha conference on UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Donate to support ERC's work

URGENT! Support our work for asylum seekers.

Update: ERC Director, Phil Glendenning, recently returned to Australia from Afghanistan after 10 days interviewing returned asylum seekers again in Kabul.

ERC is redoubling our efforts to find a third-country resettlement option for those returnees from Australia with whom we have been able to make contact. We need financial support to achieve this.

Such work uncovers high levels of risk for the deportees (and for our researchers). Research publications are available here.

Listen to Phil speak of the visit to ABC Radio National's Phillip Adams.

Please donate now so that this work may continue. Your donation is tax deductible!

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