This Lent, please give hope to children & their families who have been forced to flee their homes seeking safety in Australia. Can you help? Our appeal is featured here: The Easter Appeal.
The mission of Jesuit Refugee Service is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people. In November 2017, JRS Australia’s Director, Carolina Gottardo visited other JRS programs in Thailand and Indonesia and attended meetings in the…
The Christmas story is steeped in irony. The shepherds who work on the edges of the city move to the centre of the world when they become the recipients of the angelic message. The Magi seeking a King are sent to see a newborn baby. The vulnerable child is in fact the Lord of the universe.
“We decide who is coming here.” Malcolm Turnbull must have been hoping to gain both the conservative chops and the electoral success of former Prime Minister John Howard when he uttered these words in defence of his plans to ban asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia on boats from ever entering Australia. It was Howard of course who perfected the art of dog-whistle politics when he said in 2001 that “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.”
In the wake of the latest reports detailing the abhorrent conditions on Nauru and the recent announcement that the offshore processing centre on Manus Island will finally be closed, a shift has taken place in the public debate on the efficacy of offshore processing.
Australia has therefore put itself at risk of breaching the principle of non-refoulement, simply by transferring asylum seekers to PNG in the first place: by transferring asylum seekers to a country where it knows due process cannot be guaranteed, Australia takes on legal and moral responsibility for any harm that might befall those asylum seekers.
The voice of the Church, in the person of Pope Francis, is clear. To close the door to asylum seekers is to commit a sin that needs forgiveness.