Building on the #NobodyLeftBehind campaign, the Refugee Council of Australia has turned its focus to the children affected by the lack of financial support for people seeking asylum and on Temporary Protection Visas during the COVID pandemic. There are around 16,000 children whose families need support. RCOA is calling on educators to sign a statement of support and for everyone to sign a public petition. There will be a national day of action in August.
RAR has signed the Open Letter to the Prime Minister
This campaign is led by the Refugee Council of Australia. 188 Civil Society organizations signed this letter which has three asks
1. Ensuring all people have access to medical treatment and Medicare for people seeking asylum
2. Ensuring all people have a financial safety net so they are not forced into destitution:
a. Extend JobSeeker to people on bridging visas currently ineligible for income support
b. Extend JobKeeper to temporary visa holders so that businesses employing them can continue to operate
c. Remove penalties for Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders accessing Special Benefit in light of the pandemic and remove restrictions on accessing Special Benefit for Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or SHEV holders who are studying
3. Preventing people from losing legal status and access to support
Take action: Email your local MP asking them to support people who have no income support during Covid-19 https://action.refugeecouncil.org.au/email_covid_19
Many of our RAR groups have been active on this, as well as writing to State Premiers, asking them to provide financial support to those left behind. Most States have stepped up to the gap left by the Commonwealth.
Many RAR groups are also writing to the Minister for Health in their States, asking for greater protection for refugees kept in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, such as hotels when men have been kept for months awaiting treatment under Medevac. See Airey’s Inlet Letter Writing team for help with these letters. They were the Unsung Hero for June!
Alexandra RAR in Victoria is making face masks with the proceeds being donated to RAR in aid of refugees
The design Robyn has chosen is pleated and double sided with the top seam not stitched. This acts as a pocket where a filter can be placed. Ten (10) pieces of dry wipe fabric for this purpose is included with each mask. In addition the masks comes in a cellophane bag with an information tag. See first photo for details.
See the 3 photos of the range – grouped as animal designs, floral and general.
Price: $8.00 per mask or $30.00 for 4
Cost of mailing- $5.00 for up to 2 masks. Or in a $12.00 express post bag up to 12 masks.
Message from our National President
Coronavirus crisis got you feeling isolated? Lack of freedom from coronavirus crisis? Imagine #7yearsnofreedom
What do refugees need?
Medical care not detention – not in hotels, not anywhere #freetherefugees
Detention is an infection risk #freetherefugees