Places of Sanctuary

This is a discussion we have to have- there is now no alternative.

I have taken names off the stream of contributions for obvious reasons. Please read through to inform your view.

The roundup is likely to begin in 8 to 10 weeks. There has been no response to questions about those who cannot be removed such as stateless people etc.

Please discuss widely

Pamela Curr Refugee Rights Advocate
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Ph 0417517075


Subject: RE: Places of Sanctuary

Greetings, all

Thanks for reality check. I share your views.

The disintegrating effect on community harmony(!)of this Government’ s code of behaviour, round up, re detention and specifically on the ‘refugee community’ is total, and no way can their leadership cope with the anxiety and anguish and anger, so often likely to be misdirected at ethnic community volunteers and their migration agents/lawyers. No-one I know is able to look an asylum seeker in the eye and tell them there is little if any hope, and that the authorities will send them back. There is no room for false hope. Pure luck may save a few.

As well as the sanctuaries , I think we need to ramp up a good neighbour movement using existing faith community networks and their infrastructure to get the word out, to link them with support groups who know asylum seekers . We need plain language leaflets- inserts in pew notices! I’ll try this out on my local Indooroopilly Uniting Church group. Facilities there could accommodate a couple of hundred if push came to shove!

Safe church sanctuaries – and social media to tell what the media won’t tell…. We can do it

Subject: Places of Sanctuary

Dear friends

We are moving pretty rapidly into what is shaping up to an aggressive phase of re-detaining failed asylum seekers who refuse to leave Australia voluntarily.

An idea – certain churches be designated places of sanctuary. Supporters could be ready to provide beds, food, IT capability to tweet, blog, film the whole thing to the world, with a huge ring of community supporters 24/7 around the church/cathedral.

Failed asylum seekers expected to voluntarily return to countries still wracked by deadly insurgencies will be invited to stay there rather than be re-detained until their country is safe to voluntarily return to. This is not underground, this is sanctuary above ground – defy govt. to use penalties available for assisting people to break law. Get media to record police trying to arrest 500 retirees, priests and nuns…

A cathedral in Belgium has recently been a place of sanctuary for Hazaras in a bitter battle with that govt. over returns.

A flag of sanctuary would be good – that all supporters can identify with and post in their windows, on cars, run up church flag poles.

Many of those affected will have been found to be owed protection in a certain part of the country but it has been found that they can relocate to another part of the country (Kabul for example) and so have failed in their claim for protection. Circumstances in these countries move very swiftly adn perhaps that is why the govt also wants to move quickly – because forecasts for Iraq, Afghanistan etc are very grim.

I strongly believe the UNHCR’s own reasonableness test for relocation (edited version included below) cannot be met for many of the places people are to be returned to.

I am sure I am not the only one starting to think this way – please amend, adapt and seed as widely as possible – hopefully it will take root somewhere and we can all join a peoples ring of protection. I’d like to join a local organising committee..let me know if you hear of a willing church 🙂


Would the claimant be exposed to a risk of being persecuted or other serious harm

upon relocation?

Please comment down below