Sunday, July 16, 2006

World Vision revists the case for supporting asylum seekers

One Big Village, a community education initiative of World Vision Australia, sets out the case for assisting refugees. Following is an overview of the argument:

"Did you know that under international law everyone has a right to seek protection from persecution?

This is not a privilege given to an asylum seeker by a receiving country, but a right of every individual.

What’s more, children are entitled to extra protection under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The vast majority of refugees are in developing countries. For example, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people have crossed the border into Chad in 2004 to escape conflict in their country.

Often such refugees need only temporary protection until they can return to their own countries. But those who require permanent protection in another country can go through formal process to seek asylum.

Only a few, mainly wealthy, countries, including Australia, have such processes in place."

The Howard Government has undermined Australia's once proud tradition of upholding international law and conventions and defending the rights of the weak and vulnerable. We have become a narrow minded, mean spirited polity in thrall to a mindset based on fear, exclusion and xenophobia. We are reduced in the process and our children can no longer feel proud of what we have let this country become.

No comments: