The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has organised a sleepout at Casselden place tonight to highlight the position of refugees denied access to work, Centrelink, Medicare …
Message and press release from Kon Karapanagiotidis, CEO of the Resource Centre:
This Friday night the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Inc. has organized a sleepout in front of the Department of Immigration. Come join me in spending the night sleeping out on the streets for a good old fashioned protest.
Asylum Seekers face the prospect of sleeping on the streets every night, I am asking you to join me for one in solidarity with refugees.
The aim of the sleepout is to draw government, media and community attention to the deliberate and immoral government policies of destitution when it comes to asylum seekers.
2007 marks the 10th anniversary of our Federal Government’s inhumane and immoral policies of destitution. 10 years of deliberating forcing families seeking asylum into a life of poverty, hunger, despair and homelessness.
In 1997 Philip Ruddock took away the right to work for most people seeking asylum, meaning that for the past decade we have had thousands of asylum seekers in Australia forced to survive in the community with no right to work, health or an income of any kind. The average asylum seeker is forced to live each week on no more than a food parcel, a couple of met tickets and maybe $25 at most, all donated through non – government funded asylum seeker agencies and .the generosity of individual Australians, church groups and volunteers.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), which is the largest community based, Asylum seeker organization in Australia helping asylum seekers; has organized a protest to draw the attention of government, the media and the general community to the desperate plight of people seeking asylum in Australia.
The ASRC is holding a sleepout this Friday night from 6pm in front of the offices of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship at 2 Lonsdale Street in the city.
The ASRC is sick and tired of watching asylum seekers being dumped from detention centres onto the streets, of pregnant women turning up 7 months pregnant with no health care or having ever been seen by a doctor, of fathers pushed to the point of being suicidal due to the shame and humiliation of not being able to provide for their families to small children turning up covered in scabies because of the squalid conditions they are forced to grow up in.
We are simply demanding that our government give asylum seekers what they are entitled to, basic human rights and a fair go. That when people seek asylum they should not be punished for it and that they should be able to survive and care for themselves and their children whilst their claims for refugee status are being assessed. Our government could end this poverty and suffering with a simple strike of a pen and an amendment of our migration regulations. We demand an end to denying asylum seekers the right to work, health care and an income. We demand justice now!
CEO Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Inc.
Email: home.of.human.rights@asrc. org.au
Phone: (03) 9326 6066