Unless organisations like JRS intervene these already traumatised people will have further suffering heaped upon them
Recently, JRS Australia Director, Carolina Gottardo spoke to Stephen O’Doherty at Hope 103.2 about being a civil society observer at the member state negotiations on the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) and engaging decision-makers at the global level to develop norms that uphold the rights of all forcibly displaced peoples.
“I think it’s very important for members of civil society and organisations like JRS Australia to know what is happening at the UN level, and, to try to influence positively these kind of global negotiations that are so important for refugees and migrants on the ground,” said Ms Gottardo.
During the interview, Ms Gottardo discusses the gap between what Australia purports at the UN, having advocated strongly for the rights refugees and other forcibly displaced people, while implementing policy that means our practices on the ground do not live up to the rhetoric expounded in international forums.
She explains the importance of simultaneously trying to respond constructively to the potentially harmful impacts of government policy in Australia such as the recent cuts to support services for people seeking asylum living legally in society.
“Until recently, there was a low level of Government income support for people awaiting a decision about their claim for protection. Now even that has been terminated. It means no chance to get casework support, or torture and trauma counselling, or help with securing housing. Unless organisations like JRS intervene these already traumatised people will have further suffering heaped upon them.”
Not only does JRS provide on the ground support for refugees living in the Australian community, but also places a great importance on advocating for displaced peoples at global, regional, and local levels. In doing so we draw attention to the underlying links between policy challenges at these various levels.
Advocacy at multiple levels allows JRS Australia to identify and challenge the mismatch between rhetoric in arenas such as the UN and the very real impacts of government policy on women, men, and children in our cities, towns, and communities. This is why our Director’s role in the discussions of the UN Global Compact are so important.