Asylum Seekers: 10 Things You Can Do
Have you been wondering about the asylum seeker debate in Australia? Would you like to become better informed? Would you like to do more?
Click on the links below to find a list of items that range from reading and viewing to becoming actively involved.
Asylum Seekers: 10 Things You Can Do
1. Accessing knowledge: The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre http://www.asrc.org.au/ or call (03) 9326 6066 FREE offers up to date information
2. Watch a Film: A few good places to start:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea www.deepblueseafilm.com .
Go back to where you came from. SBS http://www.sbs.com.au/goback/
No Advantage Four Corners http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2013/04/29/3745276.htm
3. Volunteer: The Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation - (ie the Broadmeadows Detention Centre) offers programs for asylum seekers run by volunteers. They will be happy to hear from you. Their programs range from education, sport, and community activities or through a program that you may like to offer. Contact: 03 92806100 FREE http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australiasborders/detention/facilities/locations/melbourneITA/
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre also explains how you can volunteer your time, food and other useful material items: http://www.asrc.org.au/10-things-you-can-do/food-action-network/
Visit KEEN TO VISIT ASYLUM SEEKERS IN DETENTION (MELB) on Facebook to access
Similar voluntary programs run in other states and capital cities.
4. Write a letter to your Member of Parliament: Here is an example you may like to work from. Tips from Amnesty International: http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/action-sheet-contact-your-mp.pdf
5. Read a novel: You can gain insight into the situation in other countries and/or the life of a refugee through reading a novel that explores such issues. Examples include: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; Growing Up Asian in Australia compiled by Alice Pung; The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do; Walk in My Shoes by Alwyn Evans; The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif by Najaf Mazari; The Boy Who Wouldn’t Die by David Nyuol Vincent
6. Watch YouTube clips: Quick to view, easy to share on Facebook or Twitter:
Child detention in Australia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2h4vhvgalo
Immigration Detention Centres in Australia BBC News - http://youtu.be/_pwQLcFLWIc
Dadaab Refugee Camp - Kenya (Africa) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlHWHLG_pds
Are Australians scared of boat people? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUu7DOcZ4a4
Clarke and Dawe - Immigration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOI_skq5TuM
7. Read articles / newspaper accounts:
Jane Hodge - http://www.championsofchange.org.au/?p=1037
8. Action groups: The Refugee Action Collective meets on Monday nights: http://rac-vic.org/ Refugee Action Coalition http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/ Or connect with GetUp http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns and Avaaz http://www.avaaz.org These latter two are not concerned solely with asylum seekers. However, their updates provide you with current issues both Australian and globally, and allow you to help elicit change through on-line petitions. Very real change has been made through the use of such social media.
9. Arm yourself with a few facts: a) It is not illegal to seek asylum; Asylum seekers who enter Australia without a valid visa by boat or plane are not illegal. Find out why: http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/it-not-illegal-seek-asylum.pdf
b) The allegation that boat arrivals are not genuine in their appeals for protection from persecution is untrue. In any one year since the late 1990s, between 70 and 97 per cent of asylum seekers arriving by boat have been found to be refugees and granted protection. The average in recent years is closer to 90 per cent.
c) It is often too dangerous for refugees to apply for a passport or exit visa or
approach an Australian Embassy for a visa, as such actions could put their lives, and
the lives of their families at risk.
10. The realisation that your attitude counts! Stop for a moment and reflect on humanity. Think about how you would like to see the world in the future; reflect on how we treat each other. Think about people in all their capacities – feel their state of desperation, their moments of isolation. Hear your own thoughts in a moment of crisis. Do not belittle them as you would not belittle yourself. Think about us all as people. If a society’s measure can be viewed by the way it treats its most vulnerable, then as a country, are we measuring up? And now, return to numbers 1-9 and choose an action. Clarity in Time Prologue – thoughts on humanity.
Humans have the ability to achieve remarkable things.
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