Asylum seekers who arrive by boat were front and centre in the media and in the speeches of those in the race to become Australia's next PM.
At Amnesty, we do not want the next election to unfold the same way, and we have embarked on a new campaign to change public attitudes towards asylum seekers. We hope that by doing this we can change policy.
Australians need to THINK AGAIN about asylum seekers. Changing public attitudes on this issue is an ambitious project - it will take several years to achieve our goal. However, the first stage of the campaign is underway with community events and engagements occurring all over the country.
The next stage of our campaign call on our newly elected politicians to;
- Stop the suspension on processing Afghan asylum claims
- Stop considering sending asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia off to other countries for processing
- Continue to allow NGOs, Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission access to remote detention centres including Christmas Island, Curtin, Darwin and Leonora. Also facilitate community leaders to visit these facilities.
- Delink the asylum and resettlement programs
- Increase Australia's offshore humanitarian program to 20,000 over the next five years.
How will we do this?
- Direct advocacy - writing to the PM and MPs to request meetings.
- Petition - present our 20,000 signature strong petition on the rights of Asylum seekers on the first day that parliament sits. Najeeba, who arrived in Australia as an Afhgani asylum seekers, will present the petition.
- Detention tour - Amnesty staff will tour detention centres throughout Australia to assess conditions and share the stories of those living in limbo.
- Marketing Campaign - In conjunction with a marketing agency we will develop a public advertising campaign, asking non traditional audiences to think again.
- Conversations - the most important part of this campaign is getting Australians to have conversations about asylum seekers.