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Alternatives to Manus Island fiasco

Bruce Duncan

refugee candles 1_optThe death of one Iranian asylum seeker on Manus Island and the severe bashing of more than 60 others have shocked Australians. Getup and others rapidly organised candlelight protest vigils around the country. Recent Australian governments have banished asylum seekers arriving by boat to remote islands and outsourced their care and processing to impoverished small neighbours totally without experience in managing such detention centres. These ‘boat people’ took terrible risks to flee to Australia to claim our protection as refugees. Instead, we have bundled them into detention centres, with little or no hope of being settled in Australia or any other country, with the possible exception of Papua New Guinea, with its daunting problems of poverty and law and order. Read Bruce’s editorial in full.

Photo courtesy Ngoc Son Nguyen.

Mayhem on Manus Island

Tony French

Inmates of the overcrowded Manus Island Detention Centre have predictably rioted and escaped. Not that they could reach very far, but their short-lived breakout once again depressingly confirms what we in Australia really know but don’t really want to confront. The Manus Island incidents reportedly came soon after the detainees were told they will never be resettled in Australia, and that if processing of their refugee claims ever begins and some are successful, the best they can look forward to is staying on in PNG. Cambodia is currently being mentioned as a competing detention centre. Reports that the PNG locals and police violently attacked the refugees come as no great surprise either. Taunted by the refugees, the locals possibly view the refugees as intruders, and may be envious of their material conditions. In PNG, the reality is that the refugees are likely not to be welcome or feel safe. Read Tony’s article in full.
Photo Where’s my freedom? by Mohamed Adel, flickr cc.

Ending modern slavery:
human trafficking today

Discover the realities of human trafficking – even
in Australia

Wednesday 19 March 6:30-8pm
Cardinal Knox Centre 383 Albert Street East Melbourne
Light refreshments from 6pm
Please RSVP by 14 March evangelisation@cam.org.au
For information, call 03 0953 8550
Download a flyer for this event.

“Human trafficking … Is a true form of slavery … It affects every land, even the most developed, and affects the most vulnerable people in society: women, children, the disabled, the poorest, and those who come from situations of family or social disintegration … Together, we can and must take action to free the victims of human trafficking, and put an end to this horrible trade.” Pope Francis 2013.

ERC Asylum Seekers & Refugees Education Resource

Activities for students, focusing on real people and their stories.

The Edumund Rice Centre’s free publication, Asylum Seekers & Refugees Education Resource, provides student activities which are practical, engaging, and designed to increase awareness of human rights and advocacy. The Education Resource is available to download at no cost. It offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all secondary school year levels. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, for students with special needs, and with community groups. Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, moving their understanding from the head to the heart. Teachers are encouraged to send students’ images, presentations, exhibitions, speeches, artwork, etc, to erc@erc.org.au, for sharing on the website. For information call, 02 8762 420002 8762 4200, or go to Edmund Rice Centre’s website.

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