A coalition of human rights organisations have today called on the Federal Government and Opposition to end the political impasse and bring refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to safety in Australia, in light of the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the US-Australia refugee resettlement arrangement.
Director of the Edmund Rice Centre and President of the Refugee Council Phil Glendenning said the ongoing media and political speculation was only making life worse for the people on Manus Island and Nauru who have already suffered so much.
“As political games are played in Canberra and Washington, the real victims are the refugees who have been left languishing for over 3 years,” Mr Glendenning said.
“Today we are saying enough is enough. People have suffered for too long. The political games have gone on for too long. Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten must put an end to the partisanship and urgently bring these people to safety in Australia.
“Since 2013 there have been four deaths in offshore detention, including one unresolved murder and thousands of asylum seekers have suffered from physical, psychological and sexual harm.
“There are over 21 million refugees worldwide and the international community is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two.
“It is simply beyond embarrassing that our leaders are refusing to bring 1,600 people to safety in Australia and instead are relying on a volatile US President.
“40 years ago, Malcolm Fraser and Bill Hayden came together, put partisanship aside and welcomed Vietnamese refugees to Australia. It’s now time this generation’s Malcolm and Bill did the same.”
Contact: Phil Glendenning 0419 013 758