Faith leaders call on Federal Politicians to restore the human dignity of refugees and asylum seekers
Fifty leaders representing diverse faith groups met with Members and Senators at Parliament House, Canberra on October 15th, calling on them to restore Australia’s standing as a compassionate nation by winding back policies negatively impacting on people escaping violence, persecution and death.
Sr Anne Lane PBVM, representing Catholic Religious Australia, said the faith leaders asked all sides of politics to value the dignity of every human person.
“There have been many reputable reports which show that immigration detention causes significant psychological harm, particularly to children.
It is never right to use people as a means to an end. It is morally wrong to punish one group of human beings by locking them up on off-shore islands in order to deter other people from coming to Australia.
“We cannot allow such cruel policies to continue,” she said.
Anne said it is time honesty was brought into this issue, with the whole mantra of ‘stopping the boats’ being just that, a mantra.
“Due to the lack of transparency, we don’t know if or what boats have been turned back and what has resulted from those actions.
It may simply mean stopping the boats in Australian waters, so that we can hold our heads high as vulnerable people die in other countries and situations to which we’ve returned them.
Our nation’s response is in stark contrast to the way the people of Europe have rescued and welcomed tens of thousands who arrived by boat on their shores.”
Click here to read Anne’s full address given at Parliament House 15th October 2015.