Proud to be Australian
I am Australian. Very proud to be Australian. But…
- 1298 Refugees in Australian Detention Centres
- 1162 Refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. (According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection)
Are we doing the right thing with the people that we have locked up for long terms in detention centres in Australia and on Manus Island, Nauru and Christmas Island? We hear the political language that both sides of politics use in discussing refugees and asylum seekers. Are we convinced?In some ways this language is about saving refugees from the dangers of people smugglers bringing them to Australia. Stopping deaths at sea. This ignores the 37 that have died since 2010 in these very detention centres.
We seem to have fully accepted the status that refugees have no rights. No human rights.
We do seem to be ignoring the UNHCR Text of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees Rights. This text has only been modified once since 1951 and this was to broaden its application.
Is there any logic to the money spent in this process. Billions to house refugees in Australia. Billions to house refugees in Nauru and Manus.We actually spent $55 million to resettle 6 asylum seekers in Cambodia and then three of them went back to their country of origin. That seems a lot more expensive that settling those same 3 in Australia and spending the remainder on Australian Education.
Pope Francis’ Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees said:
The Church, responding to Christ’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations”, is called to be the People of God which embraces all peoples and brings to them the proclamation of the Gospel, for the face of each person bears the mark of the face of Christ! Here we find the deepest foundation of the dignity of the human person, which must always be respected and safeguarded. It is less the criteria of efficiency, productivity, social class, or ethnic or religious belonging which ground that personal dignity, so much as the fact of being created in God’s own image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-27) and, even more so, being children of God. Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved.
I just feel that Francis is right and we should be doing more to help these people.