The Salvation Army calls on Australian Government to change course on the deportation of refugees
The Salvation Army strongly affirms its support of other Christian churches in Australia who are collectively calling upon the Australian Government to find a compassionate and fair solution to the plight faced by those refugees impacted by a High Court ruling last week. These refugees, currently in Australia, face imminent deportation to offshore detention centres.
Salvation Army spokesperson Captain Craig Farrell says the Salvos believe it is wrong to deport babies, children and families when it is clear that this would cause them further harm.
“In alignment with other churches we stand ready to provide sanctuary for those refugees living in the community. We have 12 sites available immediately.
“It is not too late for the government to turn 180 degrees to find a fair and compassionate solution for the 267 refugees – 37 of whom are children – who have genuine fears for their own safety and that of their families.
“We understand the government’s position on the need to shut down the people smuggling trade and the need to stop people from risking their lives on the high seas. However, we believe there is an alternative to the punitive approach of offshore processing and detention. These refugees have fled horrific conditions and persecution in search for a safer and better life for themselves and their families. They are not criminals and they should not be punished,” Captain Farrell said.
The Salvation Army calls upon all sides of politics to respect the dignity of all people seeking asylum. We will continue to work with the government to work on alternatives to the offshore detention and processing of those who seek asylum.
People seeking asylum have experienced significant trauma and need compassion and care – not returned to a detention facility where we know conditions are far from acceptable. Sadly the majority of the impacted refugees are being held in detention centres in Australia and will not physically be able to take up the offers of sanctuary from The Salvation Army and other churches. The safety, dignity, and respect of people seeking asylum is vital.