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Listen to the United Nations - #BringThemToSafety Now

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The United Nations Refugee Agency has called on Australia to move the people currently held in detention on Nauru and Manus Island to humane conditions immediately.  The UNHCR has witnessed the increasing deterioration of these refugees and asylum seekers first hand.  It has concluded that the arrangements are immensely harmful and completely unsound.  We, the undersigned, as concerned citizens and friends of Australia, call on Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to act on this advice and bring these people here to safety.  We further call on you to establish new asylum seeker policies that do not knowingly cause cruelty, harm or abuse.

#listentotheUN #bringthemtosafety #wecanfixthis

My backstory:

Over the years, I, like so many quiet Australians, have felt growing alarm at the harm experienced by asylum seekers and refugees under our care.  As events have unfolded we have seen and heard how the lives of men, women and children are being destroyed in our names.  When the UN called on us to immediately move them to safety and we didn’t respond something inside me broke.  I asked myself, what would my 9-year-old daughter have me do?  She would want me to speak up and be part of stopping something so clearly wrong.  I know many other ordinary Australians feel the same way.

The statement from the UNHCR is shown below (bold highlights by me).  This is an official independent body with first-hand experience of the current conditions.

Without doubt these people are in clear and present danger and this danger is getting worse. We need to bring them to safety and find a better way to work with people seeking asylum – a way that does not knowingly cause cruelty, harm or abuse. 

That’s what our kids would have us do.

Extract from the UN Refugee Agency statement of 2nd May 2016

"There is no doubt that the current policy of offshore processing and prolonged detention is immensely harmful. Despite efforts by the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Nauru, arrangements in both countries have proved completely untenable.

The situation of these people has deteriorated progressively over time, as UNHCR has witnessed firsthand over numerous visits since the opening of the centres. The consensus among medical experts is that conditions of detention and offshore processing do immense damage to physical and mental health.

UNHCR’s principal concern today is that these refugees and asylum-seekers are immediately moved to humane conditions with adequate support and services."

 For further information

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