The Australian Government's response to the Trump Administration's Executive Order to ban immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries is disturbing and out of step with the rest of the world, according to the Director of the Edmund Rice Centre Phil Glendenning.
In a press conference earlier today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refused to condemn the Trump Administration’s policy, saying –
"If others wish to emulate what we're doing, they're welcome to do so."
Malcolm Turnbull, Press Conference 30 January 2017
“While leaders from Canada, the UK, France and Germany are condemning Mr Trump's ban, the response from Mr Turnbull is disturbing,” Mr Glendenning said.
“The significance of this response from the Australian Government should not be understated.
“Australia's policies towards refugees and people seeking asylum are a violation of the Refugee Convention. The Refugee Convention is the world's apology to the victims of the Holocaust who sought protection in countries like the US in the 1930s and 1940s, but who were turned away.
“If other countries emulate what the Australian Government is doing, as Mr Turnbull appears to be encouraging, the world will be turning its back on the Refugee Convention and the right for people to seek protection from persecution.
“At a time when the world is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two, this is a truly concerning reality.
"There are over 21 million refugees worldwide. We are facing an enormous challenge and there are no easy solutions. But it will only get worse if countries around the world fail to work together and instead emulate the policies of Australia and the US.
“We need leaders who will work cooperatively to build durable pathways to protection for people seeking asylum around the world. Instead, Australia’s leaders are actively encouraging countries to emulate their policies and build walls.”
Contact: Phil Glendenning 0419 013 758