A- A A+

The bipartisan shame of refugee policy

Frank Brennan |  30 August 2017

What possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s demand that Australia terminate offshore processing of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island and that we not outsource our responsibilities to others.


NAIDOC Week 2017 posterHe claimed that UNHCR had agreed to the Australia-US deal back in November 2016 ‘on the clear understanding that vulnerable refugees with close family ties in Australia would ultimately be allowed to settle’ here. It is very rare for the Commissioner himself to make such public criticisms of any country.

 


Similar articles

March Edition of Faith Doing Justice

Cecily McNeill | 31 March 2017

The Church’s Lenten season is always sobering as we take stock of how we are doing as followers of Christ in a world that seems bound for hell in the cheapest transport available – a handcart. In North America we have a deadly pantomime playing out before our eyes with health safeguards for the poor being dismantled and environmental protections being rolled back so that big business – in many cases, the accelerator of climate degradation – can continue its plundering course.


April 2017 Edition of Faith Doing Justice

Cecily McNeill | 30 April 2017

The dirtiest coal power station in the developed world shut down last month as Australia grapples with the need for electricity and an apparent perception (at least in government circles) that saving the planet is optional.

Hazelwood in Victoria has stopped its turbines, but the debate rages over a new mega-coal mine, the Adani Carmichael mine in Queensland, set to be the biggest in the world. Meanwhile, renewable energy guru Elon Musk has offered to sell the batteries that would open the door to enough renewables to run the country.


May 2017 Edition of Fairh Doing Justice

Cecily McNeill | 31 May 2017

Pope Francis has again rocked the world with his ability to speak to the heart of every creature. Last month he became the first pope to give a TED talk. His talk which was beamed from the Vatican to a live audience in Vancouver, Canada, brought the people to their feet.


June 2017 Edition of Faith Doing Justice

Cecily McNeill | 30 June 2017

While pondering the issues in our planet this month, two stories particularly caught my eye. One is that of a Syrian violinist, Alaa Arsheed, who looks at his shattered, wartorn world through an artist’s eye, using his talent to turn his apparently hopeless situation around. The other story is about those who buy shares in a company then challenge the company’s unjust practices at board level.


2 million dollar boost for refugee classes

 | 31 August 2017

The NSW government has allocated $2.2 million to Catholic schools to help fund the provision of intensive English language classes for newly arrived refugee students from war-torn Syria and Iraq, reports Catholic Education Commission NSW.