To: Liberal Party of Australia and Australian Labor Party

Create Asylum Seeker Policies that Honour the Refugee Convention

Create Asylum Seeker Policies that Honour the Refugee Convention

Dear Liberal Party of Australia and Australian Labor Party,

We are writing to you as concerned Australian citizens. We are extremely disappointed in Australia’s inhumane response to asylum seekers, and we urge you to create new policies which honour the Refugee Convention, which Australia is signatory to.

We are aware that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Amnesty International and other powerful organisations have consistently criticized Australia’s past and present response, and this is an international embarrassment.

We urge you to create new policies – policies that honour the Refugee Convention which Australia is signatory to, and policies that reflect the five indisputable facts about asylum seekers who travel to Australia by boat:

1. Legal under Refugee Convention: Seeking asylum, even by boat and without documents, is legal under the Refugee Convention, which Australia has signed.

2. Over 90% are Genuine Refugees: Over 90% of asylum seekers arriving by boat have proven to be genuine refugees fleeing persecution.

3. Innocent Families and Children: Asylum seekers are civilians fleeing persecution, and nearly one fifth are children under the age of 18.

4. Comparatively Few Arrive: Compared to the rest of the world, Australia receives very few asylum seekers. We receive only 3% of the world's asylum applications.

5. No Queue to Jump: Asylum seekers are supposed to arrive in a safe country and then apply for asylum. Very few asylum seekers are able to register with the UNHCR, and there is no orderly queue.

We look forward to seeing new policies which honour the Refugee Convention and reflect these five facts. We look forward to a new era for asylum seekers traveling to Australia by boat.

Yours sincerely,

The Five Facts Campaign and Supporters
facebook.com/fivefacts
twitter.com/fivefactsaus

Why is this important?

Asylum seekers are the most vulnerable people in the world, escaping from torture and trauma and desperately trying to save their lives. Australia agreed to help them when it signed the Refugee Convention, but instead, Australia has punished them and in many cases, sent them back. Our politicians need to stop this inhumane practice, and stop using the issue to gain votes. Australia's response to asylum seekers is an international embarrassment, and it needs to change now.


Reasons for signing

  • asylum seekers are not criminals, they are innocent civilians desperate for safety. as a democratic society, australia should be ashamed of our treatment of asylum seekers. it is time to change
  • We must take better care of refugees - it is our compassionate responsibility.
  • People outside the community of Isreal were called "aliens". God wanted them welcomed and so should we.

Updates

2013-08-01 00:59:47 +1000

Congratulations everyone! We have reached our biggest milestone yet - 1000 signatures on our petition!!! This means:

- 1000 Australians have expressed their concern over past and present asylum seeker policies

- 1000 Australians have asked both major parties to create asylum seeker policies which honour the Refugee Convention

- 1000 Australians have reminded both major parties of the 5 Facts About 'Boat People': Legal, genuine, innocent, few arrive, no queue

In response to these first 1000 signatures, we are in the process of contacting the media and every Liberal and Labor politician.

We are telling them that our movement is growing - that increasingly, Australians want humane policies that honour our international obligations.

Well done, everyone! Thank you for signing and spreading the word. We look forward to seeing support for the Refugee Convention, and for humane asylum seeker policies, grow stronger and stronger!

2013-07-29 12:26:07 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2013-07-20 19:44:00 +1000

500 signatures reached

2013-07-20 01:03:52 +1000

Today, Kevin Rudd announced that asylum seekers arriving by boat without a visa will be sent to Papua New Guinea. This breaches Australia's commitment to the Refugee Convention, which specifies that asylum seekers are not to be punished for their mode of entry, and that they are not to be sent to an unsafe country. It is now more important than ever to express to both political parties that we want them to honour the Refugee Convention, to which Australia is signatory to. Thank you so much for your support, and please continue to share this petition with your friends and family.

2013-06-28 10:54:44 +1000

100 signatures reached

2013-06-27 10:18:08 +1000

50 signatures reached

2013-06-26 21:19:16 +1000

So we have a new Prime Minister! Let's take this opportunity to sign and share our petition far and wide. Rudd had a more humane approach before, and we're asking him to do it again - and do it better, this time fully in line with the Refugee Convention. Please spread!

2013-06-25 14:45:47 +1000

25 signatures reached

2013-06-23 18:16:11 +1000

10 signatures reached

2013-06-23 15:43:14 +1000

Thank you so much for being amongst the first people to sign this petition - your support has enabled the 5 Facts Campaign to get up and running! Please ask your friends and family to sign too, so that we can truly influence this election and start a new era for asylum seekers in Australia. Thank you!