Latest: #LetThemStay

Last year we campaigned to protect a group of people seeking asylum from being forcibly returned to the hell of offshore detention. We demanded our Prime Minister to #LetThemStay - and, with your help, we won!

In this group are over 20 women who are survivors of sexual assault; and nearly a third of those affected are children. Some of these children had been transferred to Australia because of their deteriorating mental health. Since 2016, they have been waiting in community detention, hopeful that their claims for protection and asylum may be processed onshore.

Until now…

On 28 August, the Government told these people that all financial support would be cut immediately and housing taken away in a matter of weeks.

This is a deliberate attempt to create conditions so unbearable that they’re forced to return to the danger and uncertainty of life in offshore detention.

This decision could see hundreds of vulnerable people & children thrown out on the streets, without money or a place to live. #WeCanDoBetter than this - we MUST do better than this!

How you can help:

  • Provide immediate practical support for those in NSW/ACT who are directly affected.

You can do this by sending in gift cards to major supermarket retailers (e.g. Woolworths is ideal), department stores and pharmacies to the Give Hope Team. We’ll bundle these up and pass them onto the team at the Asylum Seeker Centre in Newtown (ASC). The ASC team is on the ground working to support those in NSW/ACT who are part of the #LetThemStay group. Vouchers can be sent to: Give Hope Team, PO BOX 7137 Silverwater NSW 2128.

Alternatively, you may choose make a donation to one of the major organisations working in this space to help this group of people. CLICK HERE for info on where to donate. 

  • Email Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton to condemn this decision and demand a better way!

We’ve made it easy for you to contact Mr Turnbull and Mr Dutton to express your anger about the recent decisions. It’s important that we demonstrate widespread outrage throughout the community!  Simply follow this link, edit the message text as you wish, and send: https://socialjusticeforum.good.do/letthemstay/letthemstay/

  • Meet with your local Federal MP to show that, as a constituent, you don’t support this decision!

Meeting with your local Federal Member of Parliament is an ideal way of showing them that, as a constituent, you won’t support a government that treats innocent people and children this way. Contact us for any support you need to organise a meeting, prepare and follow up.

About the Campaign 

This campaign is an initiative of the Social Justice Forum on behalf of the Synod and our partners.

It was founded in response to growing church and community concern about how refugees and people seeking asylum are being treated in Australia and in offshore detention.

The campaign aims to grow compassion and respect for people seeking asylum, raise awareness about their plight and help provide practical support to help those living in the NSW/ACT community.

In the midst of a global humanitarian crisis forcing millions from their homes, we’re calling on the Australian government to increase its humanitarian intake, end the inhumane and cruel offshore detention regime and establish a new regional protection framework.

As a global citizen and a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, Australia has a responsibility to do more to provide refuge and protection to those who desperately need it. We need you to take action to show our leaders and key-decision makers the groundswell of support for these people. See how you can TAKE ACTION below.

Some of the children at risk of being forcibly returned to danger. We need your help!

Alex from Give Hope handing over $8k worth of vouchers to staff at Settlement Services International, following the 2016 Give Hope Winter Voucher Appeal

The Social Justice Forum team marching in the Palm Sunday Rally for refugees, April 2017

Table Talk Group from the Yurora Festival 2017 taking part in our #WeCanDoBetter symbolic action

Stafford from Give Hope taking part in a public reading vigil of the Nauru Files at Sydney Town Hall

More people are on the move than ever before.

As a result of war and terror, there’s a global humanitarian crisis of 65 million forcibly displaced people.

According to UNHCR, every day, around 34,000 people are forced to flee their homes to escape violence and persecution.

In 2015 alone, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants, mostly Syrian people seeking safety from a brutal civil war, fled to Europe.

Those who seek asylum are ordinary people - forced to take great risk and show extraordinary courage to survive unimaginable terrors and leave their homeland to find safety and build a new life for themselves and their families.

These people have much to offer our community, if we allow them to “call Australia home”.

Every human being has the legal and moral right to seek safety and asylum - regardless of their origin, race, language or religion. In the face of the current humanitarian crisis, a global response is needed to protect and uphold these rights.

So, what has been Australia's response

The Give Hope campaign is one way of responding to this crisis.

We work within the Uniting Church and the wider Australian community to advocate for change - for better laws and policies to help people live and flourish, with a chance to make their own luck in our Lucky Country.

Your support is vital to this campaign.

By getting involved, you’re adding your voice to the call for change. A small commitment of time and energy can make a world of difference. 

There are lots of ways for you to take action on this issue:

Provide Practical Support:       

Each year the Give Hope team run voucher appeals to provide essential practical assistance to refugees and people seeking asylum in the community. We invite members of the church and general public to take part by purchasing a gift card or voucher for a supermarket, department store, pharmacy or even a sports store or cinema and send them to us. It is up to you how much each voucher is worth. We then hand over all the vouchers to the team at Settlement Services International who are working on the ground with refugees and people seeking asylum in the community. If you or your church want to donate vouchers to us outside one of our regular appeals, you are more than welcome. Simply send them visa post to: Give Hope Team, PO Box 7137 Silverwater NSW 2128. 

Contact your local MP:

Getting in contact with your local Federal MP is a great way to show them that their constituents are passionate about an issue and call for change. We’ve made it super easy for you to do this – simply click the link, enter your address and either send the pre-filled message or add a new words of your own. Remember, this is your chance to tell our leaders that WE CAN DO BETTER for refugees and people seeking asylum – make it count!

Click here

#WeCanDoBetter symbolic action:

Taking part in this symbolic action is a powerful way for you to say: We Can Do Better for refugees and people seeking asylum! This is a great activity to get your family, friends, colleagues and church community involved in - the more people the better! Simply print out the sign (enough copies for everyone), take a picture of your group holding the signs and, on the flip-side, write a message to your local MP in the space provided. This should be a message from the heart telling your local MP why you think we can do better for refugees and people seeking asylum. Be sure to sign off with your name and then send these in the mail to your local MP's office. We'd also love you to share the picture of your group with us so please send to: socialjustice@uniting.org. You can download a copy of the sign under the 'Resources' tab below. 

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter for live campaign updates, pictures and action alerts.

 

For resources and more background information please go to our resources page