NO to Indefinite Offshore Detention

Australia's inhumane detention centre on Nauru was emptied in July 2023. However, there are distressing reports indicating the government plans to refill it. On February 16, 2024, a group of people seeking safety arrived near the former West Australian church mission of Beagle Bay, sparking a significant response from Australian media and politicians over the weekend.

Once again, refugees and asylum seekers have become politicised and are being used as pawns in a political game. Offshore detention is one of Australia’s most enduring and brutal policies, involving the detention of people in the Pacific while they await resettlement in a third country. This policy has caused immense suffering to individuals and families, while also placing significant pressure on the Australian economy and taxpayers. Furthermore, it has proven to be ineffective.

The Edmund Rice Centre advocates for a compassionate approach to resolving this issue. We strongly oppose indefinite offshore detention. Externalising Australia’s asylum obligations has undermined the rights of those seeking safety and protection, leading to serious harm to their physical and mental health.

The fundamental question remains: why are people forced into becoming refugees? Refugees are a product of war, but who is responsible for creating these wars? In modern history, Afghanistan, my home country, stands out as one of the nations that has endured the most war and conflict. Yet, there isn't a single weapon factory in Afghanistan. I believe this situation is mirrored in other war-torn countries such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Palestine…

To put an end to the refugee crisis, we must stop funding the wars.

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