ALP Policy on Migration and Refugees – 2016

ALP Policy on Migration and Refugees – 2016



Migration and Refugees


Labor believes in dealing with the complex issue of those seeking Australia’s protection by giving expression to the values of compassion, fairness and generosity. These are values which are at the heart of the Australian identity.


Labor will treat people seeking our protection with dignity and compassion and in accordance with our international obligations , the rule of law and core Australian principles of fairness and humanity.

Labor will legislate to enshrine our international obligations into Australian domestic law.


Labor recognises that, under the Refugee Convention, asylum seekers have the right to seek protection and asylum and that, regardless of the mode of arrival, this is not illegal under Australian or international law. Accordingly, Labor rejects the practice of referring to asylum seekers as ‘illegals’.


Labor believes that as a country Australia must not harm people.


The issue of those seeking protection is both a global and regional one. Accordingly, in order to achieve a long-term resolution to the issue, it must be dealt with through international cooperation and not unilateral action. Within our region, Australia must play a leadership role.


A fundamental principle in treating those seeking protection with humanity is to provide as much certainty as possible. An aspiration of certainty in all matters around asylum seekers, including the duration of assessing refugees’ claims, must underpin Australian policy.


Labor will work to ensure that those in detention facilities are treated with dignity and respect and have access to an appropriate standard of care and substantive access to health and education services while held in immigration detention centres (IDCs).

Manus detainees need our support

Message from Airey’s Inlet RAR


Members of RAR may think that the recent decision by the PNG Supreme Court to declare detention of asylum seekers to be in breach of the PNG Constitution would bring relief to detainees. The opposite could well be the case if the reaction of an asylum seeker in frequent contact with a RAR member is indicative of the situation.

A member of Aireys Inlet RAR (AIRAR) has been corresponding since late 2014 with a young man detained on Manus Island. The initial letter by this man was both informative and shocking. In an outpouring of relief at someone even acknowledging his existence he wrote an 18 page letter, which told a not untypical story of a 16 year old Rohingyan boy forced to flee from his beloved family in Myanmar to avoid ongoing persecution, even death.

Over the next 4 years he travelled by sea to Malaysia, Indonesia and Christmas Island, often in dangerous situations and held in detention camps. Along the way he learned English and gained recognition as a refugee from the UNHCR however this did not prevent the Australian Government transferring him to indefinite detention on Manus Island. He was an unfortunate participant in the ugly situation in Mike compound in which an Iranian was beaten to death and many others injured.

It is now seven years since he fled Myanmar and he is in his third year of detention at Manus. In correspondence he has displayed remarkable resilience until now, priding himself on his ability to cope, whereas many around him have succumbed to severe depression because of the environment and a lack of a discernible future.

Unfortunately following the Supreme Court decision and the Australian Government’s attempt to wash its hands of the situation his correspondence changed dramatically, expressing extreme anxiety regarding his future given local hostility to detainees.

At this time our AIRAR correspondent attempted to concentrate on being positive but realistic re this man’s circumstances, in particular emphasising what many organisations including RAR are doing to try to change things, and offering our support and best wishes in this situation. The fact that others are aware of his situation and are trying to do something about it appeared to be helpful, as recent correspondence is again positive.

Our AIRAR committee at its most recent meeting felt that it was important that other RAR members who may have corresponded with Manus detainees were aware of the uncertainty facing these young men , and endorsed the suggestion that RAR people who have corresponded with Manus detainees send a bright postcard along the lines suggested above.

People who have not received replies to previous correspondence could consider this approach as it may bring some pleasure without being too demanding of a detainee who may have poor English writing skills.

Laurie Mason

Publicity coordinator Aireys Inlet RAR

Manus Island detainees need our support

Bendigo to host national refugee conference

Bendigo to host national refugee conference

Bendigo Advertiser – 

Conference banner

A spoken word poet, a two-time Walkley Award winner and a leading human rights lawyer will headline a national forum on refugees in Bendigo later this year.

Former Bendigo Advertiser journalist Ben Doherty – now with the Guardian Australia – Nick Olle of The Project, barrister Julian Burnside, Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and refugee poet Hani Abdile will be among the guest speakers at the national Rural Australians for Refugees’ One Voice; One Vision conference in Bendigo.

The conference aims to unite refugee advocates across the country to discuss practical strategies of joining forces across regional Australia to combat what organisers describe as the “horrific language our political parties have used to try and sweep the issue under the carpet”.

“There has never been a more important time for refugee advocates to be heard,” Rural Australians for Refugees Bendigo spokesperson Marie Bonne said.

Read the full article here

For further information email



Facts about seeking asylum in Australia

We’re In This Together” –  Published on Jul 31, 2015

 Facts about seeking asylum in Australia

A personal exploration of facts and attempt to clarify mis-information being spread by individuals, media and government. This is my own attempt to add to a growing voice of discontent in Australia regarding the lack of compassionate response to the dire asylum seeker situation. There is a distinct need to educate the public in order to cease the inhumane treatment of those seeking refuge away from volatile and dangerous regimes.

THIS VERSION is a compilation of the three episodes of this mini-series.
The individual episodes can be viewed here:

The information expressed here are opinions and facts gathered from publicly available resources. They are not necessarily representative of the individuals or organisations presented in the video.

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