Hello Refugee Supporters … just a reminder to
1. get on the phone and call the Victorian Senators – Ricky Muir MEP Telephone: (02) 6277 3040 John Madigan DLP Telephone: (02) 6277 3471
1. Sign this online petition if you haven’t already…. Stop legislation denying human rights for asylum seekers,https://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-legislation-denying-human-right-for-aslyum-seekers then to spread the word by forwarding the link below to your friends on Facebook, twitter or email.
When you ring, you don’t need to say a lot – just a couple of points about the Bill – the main thing is that it will deny most asylum seekers the chance of getting permanent protection in Australia – people who under the Refugee Convention would normally be accepted as refugees and granted protection. This legislation – if passed – would mean that Australia is no longer working alongside other countries and in the spirit of the UN Refugee Convention to assist people who are at risk of persecution or death in their own countries – instead we would be sending them back to danger.
See further detail below – and attached for your reference
The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law ( http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/ ) together with Associate Professor Michelle Foster from the University of Melbourne, provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 (Cth). The Kaldor Centre’s submission is no. 115, and recommends that the Bill should not be passed, in particular because:
· the Bill expressly empowers the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to detain people on the high seas and transfer them to countries even if this would amount to refoulement, and in circumstances that would also violate the international legal prohibition on arbitrary detention;
· the Bill authorises other violations of Australia’s non-refoulement obligations under international law, including the return of people to persecution or other forms of significant harm;
· by seeking to remove references to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees from the Migration Act 1958 (Cth), the Bill fundamentally misunderstands the system of international law in general, and treaty interpretation in particular;
· the Bill’s provisions for ‘fast tracking’ decisions by removing or limiting access to merits review significantly increase the risk of refoulement, and may also constitute an unlawful penalty for asylum seekers who arrive irregularly;
· the Bill provides for the detention and transfer to regional processing countries of children who are born to ‘unauthorised maritime arrivals’ and ‘transitory persons’ in Australia, and also potentially restricts such children’s access to immediate birth registration and the acquisition of a birth certificate; and
· by enabling the Minister to ‘cap’ the number of protection visas, the Bill would allow arbitrary and prolonged detention.
And in case you haven’t seen this interview between Corinne Grant and Daniel Webb (Human Rights Law Centre) :
Short interview: YouTube – What’s wrong with the Asylum Legacy Bill ? (6 mins)
More detailed interview: YouTube – What’s wrong with the Asylum Legacy Bill ? (21 mins)
Ricky Muir MEP senator.muir Telephone: (02) 6277 3040 Fax: (02) 6277 5720
John Madigan DLP senator.madigan Telephone: (02) 6277 3471 Fax: (02) 6277 5967
In addition to suggesting you ring these two senators, we will be asking you to email or write again in the next few days – look-out for a follow-up email on Tuesday or Weds ..with points for your letters.
The more people who act on this – the more likely it is the Bill will be defeated – let’s all do our best to block this appalling proposal.
Regards – Marie Hapke
Refugee Advocacy Network