REFUGEES

STRONG BORDERS. OPEN HEARTS

Stop the boats!! Stop the boats!!

The boats have stopped. Well they have stopped arriving at least. (Not that we'd know. Given the unprecedented secrecy that surrounds this issue.) And it appears no one is drowning at sea. These are metrics are encouraging. But this only tells part of the story. 

We have treated people in our care on Manus Island and Nauru with such cruelty, that report after report has found that we have failed in our obligations on human rights. The Moss Review, the Australian Human Rights Commission report, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch... the list goes on. All have demonstrated that not only are we not treating people in detention by the standards we have agreed to abide, but for many, including children, we are inflicting long term, often permanent psychological damage.

We have a duty to look after these people. That's right, they are people; despite what Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton have tried to make us believe. Their refusal to allow journalists to into detention centres. Their dismissal of report after report on this issue. Their insistence on calling asylum seekers "illegal maritime arrivals" all have ensured a sense of dehumanisation across the board.  It's easy to get away with treating a group as sub-human if you've convinced the population they are not fit for anything otherwise.

ENOUGH. It's is completely unacceptable  and that's not who we are as Australians.
I wil fight for:
- Full transparency for media and human rights watchdogs in all detention centres.
- The end of indefinite detention. We must find ways to speed up refugee processing and reduce long term emotional harm.
- Improved living conditions, training and facilities in all detention centres, regardless of where they are located.
- Improved relations with our neighbours to provide more legitimate pathways out of refugee camps 
- ALL children out of detention. No exceptions.
- Expanded language and training programs for refugees to help them transition into the community. 
 (Which can be repayable a la HECS if the neo-cons are concerned about the cost.)