Today is World Refugee Day! It is a day where we celebrate the achievements of refugees and stand with them in solidarity.
This year’s theme is “Step with Refugees”. Every minute, 20 people are forced to leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. In a world where violence drives thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the global public is demonstrating its support for refugees by moving in solidarity them. The challenge is to walk, run and cycle the same distance that refugees cover each year to reach safety. Join the movement and show your support!
Australia has a poor track record when it comes to how we treat refugees that arrive in our country. Our principal, Greg Martin says:
Every Australian government since 2001 has had a horrific history of abusing refugees and of breaching the UN Refugee Convention.
Offshore detention and refoulement (the process where refugees are sent back to their place of persecution) are a blight on our history. You read the stories of what Australia has done, and you weep for the victims and for our nation.
Martin Bullock Lawyers opposes immigration detention, both onshore and offshore. The reality is that it is cruel, inhumane, and often denies its occupants their basic human rights.
It is also an expensive position to hold. It is 56 times cheaper to accommodate asylum seekers and refugees in the community, than it is to put them into to offshore processing. The figures are stark. See this factsheet published by the UNSW Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law for more information.
There are so many countries which house millions more refugees than Australia does. It is time for us to step up to the plate and house our fair share.
How do you judge a society? One way is to watch how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members. Does it attack them and blame them, or does it support them and fight for their rights?
Martin Bullock Lawyers is proud to be associated with several refugee advocates acting on behalf of refugees detained on Manus Island. If you are a refugee, or if you know any refugees who need legal assistance, then feel free to call Martin Bullock Lawyers on 02 9687 9322.