06 February, 2009

Are you ready to help?

It is easy to read about Thailand's terrible treatment of asylum seekers and get angry. Good. So you should. It is a cruel injustice. However, we have to be aware of the state of asylum seekers in Australia. Read through this part of an article below...

"For three-year-old Sanara, justice is a big word and an even bigger concept. In the past six months Sanara's mother and grandmother have both attempted suicide and her grandmother has recently been diagnosed with a secondary cancer. Her family has no income, cannot access Medicare and relies on a few charities to provide food, clothing and housing. Each family member receives $33 per week from Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project, to spend on basic necessities.

Sanara and her family are stuck between systems. Their care seems to be no-one's responsibility. When Sanara's mother was admitted to hospital for the second time, the hospital staffer responded by saying, 'this is an immigration matter, not ours'. Yet when a Department of Immigration official heard Sanara's story she accused the family of using the threat of suicide as a way of manipulating the Minister for Immigration.

Justice for Sanara's family has become a point of debate. For some justice demands the removal of the family back to their homeland. For others it demands that it be given the chance to make a home in Australia. For a few it demands that Sanara and her family receive health care and basic services in order to help them to accept the reality that they must return to their country of origin. For Sanara it is relatively simple. Whatever the outcome of her immigration status, she wants food in her belly more than once a day, a house that is safe and secure, and for her mother and grandmother to get the help they need today. But none of her desires is granted."
part of an article by Caz Coleman, Project Director of the Hotham Mission Asylum Seeker Project.

We have people living in our country who don't have access to health care? To food? To pensions? To employment? To employment assistance? To housing? How are they supposed to live? That's the point...they are not. Be prepared to ask yourself what kind of justice outcome you are willing to fight for? Is it removal from Australia back to whatever negative situation a person was fleeing from? Is it the attainment of social security and all Australian citizenship has to offer? Is it the provision of basic human rights? Because your thinking on this determines the policy response. If the public outcry was significant (and it should be) we would see some changes. Your opinion and response matters. Don't hide from that!

After opinion comes action. I have an idea, so let's coordinate a response. Who's with me???

gen.peterson@aus.salvationarmy.org

2 comments:

armybarmy said...

I'm with you!
Danielle

Mayra said...

I'm with you too!!
Asylum seekers are forgotten people in Australia... It is very very frustrating!
Mayra