Oxfam petition calls for increased humanitarian intake

Hundreds of refugees and migrants aboard a fishing boat are pictured moments before being rescued by the Italian Navy as part of their Mare Nostrum operation in June 2014 (Image Credit: The Italian Coastguard / Massimo Sestini).

TO mark World Refugee Day, Oxfam will today hand over a petition with almost 42,000 signatures to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate office calling for increased support for refugees.

Oxfam Australia Humanitarian Policy Advisor Nicole Bieske said the petition was called Right to Refuge and had three asks.

Almost 42,000 Australians joined Oxfam in calling on Prime Minister Turnbull to:

– Treat all people seeking refuge in Australia with dignity and respect, and in accordance with the Refugee Convention,
– Increase Australia’s intake of people seeking refuge to 30,000 by 2018/19 and then to 42,000 by 2020/21, based on the current size of our population and economy,
– Increase aid to countries hosting large populations of people who have been forced to flee.

“World Refugee Day is a key moment to understand the challenges faced by refugees around the world, and the strength they show coping with incredibly difficult situations,” Dr Bieske said.

“Oxfam stands with refugees to support and assist them as they strive to find safety for themselves and their families.

“We call on governments around the world to step up and offer more support – for wealthy countries to increase the number of refugees that they resettle and the aid that they give to poorer refugee hosting nations, and for countries hosting large populations of displaced people to create environments where people can live in safety, contribute and thrive.

“It’s also important to note that a strong resettlement program does not replace Australia’s obligation to provide protection to people who apply for asylum in Australia.

“Oxfam has continuously called for the processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru to be closed and for people found to be refugees to be brought to Australia.”

Oxfam works in many countries from which refugees are fleeing, whether because of conflicts or persecution, including South Sudan, Syria and Iraq.

“Based on our understanding of why people flee and the conditions that they encounter when they do, we will continue advocate to governments to increase their support to people on the move,” Dr Bieske said.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

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