Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention (initiated by The Refugee Council of Australia)

The Refugee Council of Australia has issued the following statement (3/2/17), of which the AJDS is signatory, along with countless other organisations:
We, as a coalition of organisations and community groups from around Australia, are writing to express our concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Australia has created. Successive Australian governments have managed and funded offshore detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. The people detained there are clearly Australia’s responsibility. This situation has reached crisis point, and immediate action must be taken. Beyond the reports of physical and sexual abuse, including of children; inadequate medical attention; suicides and attempted suicides; even a murder; the extinguishment of hope has pushed people to the edge. Many of these people have been recognised as refugees. We owe them protection and safety now. Meanwhile, politicians are spending years engaged in lengthy negotiations as to the fate of these men, women and children. With the US resettlement deal in serious doubt, the most obvious and humane solution is to clear the camps and bring these people to Australia until a safe long term, appropriate outcome for them can be guaranteed. We do not have years. Australia cannot allow another person to die or suffer because of our actions. This is a crisis. We are calling on both major parties to form a bipartisan commitment to immediately evacuate the camps and bring these people to safety. Signed, The Refugee Council of Australia Academics for Refugees ActionAid Australia Amnesty International Australia APS Refugee Issues and Psychology Interest Group Asylum Circle Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce Australian Council for International Development Australian Council of Social Service Australian Council of Trade Unions Australian Jewish Democratic Society Australian Lawyers for Human Rights Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project Campaign for Australian Aid – Up To Us Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees Children Out of Immigration Detention (ChilOut) Doctors for Refugees Edmund Rice Centre Free the Children Nauru GetUp! Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children Human Rights for All Pty Ltd Human Rights Law Centre Human Rights Watch Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy Independent Education Union of Australia International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention Jubilee Australia Labor for Refugees Liberty Victoria Love Makes A Way Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office Mums 4 Refugees New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties Oxfam Australia Pax Christi Queensland People Just Like Us Plan International Australia Queensland Council of Unions Queensland Nurses’ Union Queensland Teachers’ Union Refugee Action Coalition Refugee Action Network Newcastle Refugee Advice & Casework Service Refugee Advocacy Network RESULTS International Australia Rural Australians for Refugees Save the Children Australia St Vincent de Paul Society National Council St.Macartan’s Social Justice Group Mornington Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support Teachers For Refugees Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia The Australia Institute The Bayside Refugee Advocacy and Support Association The Catholic Justice Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane The National Justice Project Together Branch of the ASU Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA Uniting Church in Australia Uniting Church in South Australia Victorian Council of Churches Welcome to Australia World Vision Australia Media Contacts Refugee Council of Australia: Laura / 0488 035 535 Oxfam Australia: Amanda / 0411 449 653 Save The Children Australia: Lily / 0416 355 851 GetUp! : Adrian / 0401 726 476 Amnesty International Australia: Anita / 0423 280 658 Human Rights Law Centre: Michelle / 0419 100 519 Australian Churches Refugee Task Force: Matt / 0408 634 373
  This statement was originally published here.
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