OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - The Church: it is urgent to review the policy of detention concerning refugees on Manus Island

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - The Australian Church asks the government to reconsider its policy of detention and resettlement of refugees on Manus Island, an island where there is the biggest detention center for refugees. This is referred in a note sent to Fides Agency by the Office for migrants and refugees, of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference.
Bishop Gerard Hanna, Episcopal Delegate for the migrant sector said: "An independent analysis showed that the current policy of Australia on migrants and refugees leads to tragic consequences. This policy, which has a punitive approach towards refugees seeking protection is putting at risk the lives of many people: this is why we hope in a thorough review". According to the Bishops, we can expect unrest on Manus Island, "where migrants and refugees will have no hope of a change in the situation".
Australia, with its determination to take deterrent measures, "is turning away many refugees. The lack of recognition of fundamental human rights and this policy constitute a contempt for those who arrive on our shores in search of protection", adds Mgr. Hanna.
But, on this delicate humanitarian situation, he notes, "our government continues to turn a blind eye to those who leave their homeland due to violence and persecution" in the hope of a better life.
According to the Australian Church, since that of refugees is a global phenomenon on the rise, "the developed countries are called to accept the care for refugees, without measures that inflict harm and suffering". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 27/05/2014)