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Wednesday, 19 October 2016 16:23

Appeal to human compassion and decency

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CRA Yr of Mercy 2Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) joins its voice to many others in appealing to the Australian Government for compassion and decency in its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. We have heard repeatedly of the harm done to these, our sisters and brothers. The Australian Human Rights Commission, nurses, psychologists, teachers, religious leaders – all courageous people – continue to speak about their first-hand experience of the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island. CRA, which represents 130 Religious Institutes in Australia, calls for compassion and decency. It is time to welcome the stranger in our midst, not to place them far away where the general population are unable to see them and unable to build a relationship with them.

These vulnerable people who have taken tremendous risks across land and sea in order to find safe harbour, security and protection now find themselves, because of government policy, in unsafe places with no hope. Human beings like ourselves, they have been shamed, neglected and abused by our system and by the authorities in Nauru and Manus Island.

CRA endorses the recent statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference “It is time to bring them here” and supports the coordinated approach of the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA).

We have heard the plea of these our sisters and brothers, we have seen their faces. We call on the government to immediately release these people into the community, onshore in Australia while their applications are being processed. We continue to offer assistance in welcoming refugees into our midst and giving them hope for their future, for all our futures.