Pledge For Refugees

Our Vision

Our aim is for an Australia in which asylum seekers and refugees are treated with dignity and humanity, not with punishment and cruelty. It embodies the values of fairness and generosity towards those who are vulnerable and in need of sanctuary.
The adoption of the five points will positively reshape the narrative that underpins public opinion on refugees and asylum seekers. It will recreate an Australia that upholds its commitment to human rights and leads the world in embracing its international obligations. This is an Australia we can all have pride in.


Five Point Plan - positive solutions for people seeking asylum

Signing the pledge means that you or your organisation stand by the five points contained in the pledge and will work to bring them about.

Immediate release and settlement for all those suffering at our hands

This means immediately shutting down offshore centres and without delay bringing all persons seeking asylum and those assessed as refugees to Australia for permanent settlement.

End mandatory detention

There should be no detention of asylum seekers. There should be open reception centres, genuinely independently monitored, for health identity and security checks.

Raise the refugee intake substantially

Australia must substantially increase the number of people to whom we offer asylum.

Safe and just passage for asylum seekers to Australia, with no punishment based on means of arrival

Working with the UNHCR, Australia needs to provide safe alternatives to people seeking asylum with fair and rapid processing of their claims in countries of transit such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Those who are successful in their claims should be flown to Australia for resettlement. There should be no discrimination against people who arrive on our shores by boat seeking asylum. We should not turn back boats containing asylum seekers.

Give permanent settlement visas, citizenship with full rights including work and family reunion

Those applying for refugee status should have the full legal rights available to others, such as tourists, including legal review rights. Those accepted should have the same permanent rights as other Australians. Whatever the outcome, there should be no refoulement/deportation to danger.


SIGNATORIES (As of 01/06/2018)

The following organisations and individuals have signed the Pledge:


Noam Chomsky
Tim Winton, Author
Julian Burnside, barrister, author, human rights & refugee advocate
John Pilger, Journalist & filmmaker
Jane Caro, social commentator, writer and lecturer
Fr Rod Bower, Anglican Parish of Gosford
Andrew Wilkie, Independent Senator for Tasmania
Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens Senator for SA
Prof David Isaacs, Children's Hospital at Westmead
Tom Ballard, Comedian
Antony Loewenstein, Journalist & author
Lee Rhiannon, Greens Senator for NSW
Melissa Parke, Former Labor MP for Fremantle
Diana Abdel-Rahman, President of Australian Muslim Voice
Phillip Adams, ABC Radio National
Ken Canning, Aboriginal activist
Prof Wendy Bacon, independent journalist
Greg Barnes, Barrister and former National President Australian Lawyers Alliance
Jon Stanhope, former Chief Minister ACT, former Administrator, Australian Indian Ocean Territories, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Clover Moore, Lord Mayor of Sydney
Irene Doutney, Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney
Mark Isaacs, Author “The Undesirables”
Prof Larissa Behrendt
Phil Glendenning, Director of Edmund Rice Centre & President of Refugee Council of Australia
Andrew Kutapae, Secretary-General, Papua New Guinea Greens
Pat Fiske, Filmmaker
Miriam Margolyes, Actor
Prof Jake Lynch, Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies, USYD
Robin de Crespigny, Author “The People Smuggler”
Susan Varga, Author
Prof Stuart Rees AM, Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney
Rev Dorothy McCrae McMahon, South Sydney Uniting Church
Rev Stephen Pickard, Executive Director of Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Professor of Theology Charles Sturt University
David Shoebridge, Greens MLC NSW Parliament
Dr Sue Wareham OAM, Medical Assn for Prevention of War (Australia)


Arts Party
Asylum Seekers Resource Centre
Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group
Doctors for Refugees
Friends of Refugees
Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children
Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy
Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney
International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention
Lebanese Muslim Association
Mary Mckillop Centre/Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart
Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia)
Mums for Refugees
Music for Refugees
NSW Council for Civil Liberties

Pax Christi NSW
People Just Like Us
Pottsville Refugee Group
Presentation Sisters Lismore
Public Health Association of Australia
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney
Refugee Action Collective, Queensland
Refugee Action Collective, Victoria
Refugee Action Committee, Canberra
Refugee Rights Action Network, Fremantle
Refugee Rights Action Network, WA
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites
Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alternative

More Individuals

Amanda Bresnan, former ACT Greens MLA
Carol Chandler
Dennis Altman, Ambassador, Human Rights Law Centre
Dr Bijou Blick
Dr Catherine Hull
Dr Corinne Dobson, Public Health Association of Australia
Dr Jean Paul Sanggaran
Dr John Harvey
Dr Jon Juredini, Health SA
Dr Kerry Goulston, Sydney Medical School, USyd
Dr Michael Gliksman
Dr Peter Slezak, UNSW
Dr Robyn Bradley
Dr Sarah Keenan, Birkbeck Law School, University of London
Dr Vicki Xafis, Clinical Ethics Co-ordinator, Sydney Children’s Hospital
Fr Robert Niehus
Gerald Grove-White
Gwenda Davey
Janet Venn-Brown, Artist
Josephine Rush, Missionary Franciscan Sisters

Judith Durston
Lydia Shelly, lawyer & community advocate
Mary Kostakidis, Journalist
Melanie Jansen
P J Collins, Leader, The Arts Party
Paul Barratt, Former Secretary of Australian Departments of Defence and Primary Industries & Energy
Paul Bodisco
Eva Cox, writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator and activist
Prof David Burgner
Prof Eileen Baldry
Prof Garth Nicholson
Prof Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
Prof Kim Oates, Faculty of Medicine, USyd
Rev John Jegasothy, Uniting Church
Sue Longmore
Sue Sicely
Tasneen Chopra
Tom Ballard, comedian
Winton Higgins, Visiting Fellow, School of International Studies, UTS

… and another 3614 signatories