There are currently around 16,000 children in families seeking protection in Australia. Many people seeking asylum have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, as they often work in the service sectors worst affected. People seeking asylum are not eligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments, like many other workers. Some don’t even have access to Medicare.
The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is bringing together a coalition of educators, carers and students are working to put pressure on the Federal government to ensure adequate support is provided for people in this situation. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and neither should access to a safety net or assistance during this time. We are in this together and there must be support for all who need it, regardless of visa status.
RCOA is collecting signatories from educators, parents and students, and the relevant bodies representing them, for a joint statement directed to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston. For members of the general public you can support the campaign by signing our petition. Both can be accessed here:
Peter Dutton is pushing for sweeping new powers – again.
After refusing to ensure the safety of refugees and people seeking asylum in overcrowded conditions in immigration detention during the coronavirus pandemic, Dutton now wants to give Australian Border Force more powers, including the ability to confiscate mobile phones.
Without mobile phones, we wouldn’t know the story of the family from Biloela, that people are being forced to sleep four to a room in a pandemic or that basic necessities like soap aren’t available.
Mobile phones are a lifeline for refugees and people seeking asylum.
Not only would these changes take away that accountability and transparency, it would rip away refugees and asylum seekers access to their families, loved ones, legal representation and the outside world.
This is yet another example of the Morrison Government trying to distract from the most pressing issue – that they have indefinitely detained people seeking asylum and refugees.
Sign the petition and call on politicians to block Dutton’s latest push for unnecessary and harsh powers.