Advocates Calling for More Collaboration With Indonesia on Refugee Issues
7.6.22 - Media release
Representatives of the new Albanese Labor Government visited Indonesia this week. The refugee advocacy group, People Just Like Us, today urges that the newly elected Labor Government takes the chance to "reset" our relationship with our Asian neighbours on refugee issues by setting up "safe passage" for those refugees trapped in Indonesia.
There are around 14,000 refugees trapped in Indonesia for more than a decade, among them more than 7,000 were from Afghanistan.
In the last ten years, Australia accepted only 54 people annually on average from Indonesia. There have been daily refugee protests on the streets in all major cities in Indonesia. People are losing hopes and dying.
"We need to significantly increase the refugee intake from Indonesia. We should work with the Indonesian government and UNHCR to take more refugees from our region. No one will risk their own precious life to come to Australia by boat if they know there is an orderly pass-way existed. Refugees are willing to wait for a reasonable time for assessment and process," said Fabia Claridge, convenor of People Just Like Us.
"Furthermore, it would demonstrate that Australia is proactive about a regional solution and demonstrate that Australia is prepared to do some heavy lifting as a country built on migration. It would be an opportunity to support our neighbour Indonesia by removing the suffering families suiciding on its streets and bringing them to Australia. It would also mark a departure from the colonial behaviour of dumping on our neighbours those we choose to reject.
"It will save the government’s budget on 'border protection' whilst enhancing our ability to safely and fairly assess the refugees right on our doorstep," she concludes.
For details, please contact People Just Like Us via email [email protected]
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