In a statement on 28 June, Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) called on Federal Parliament to remember in their discussions that asylum seekers and refugees are human beings, and urged them for a long term solution that protects the human rights of asylum seekers and to treat them with dignity and respect.
The Statement from the CRA Justice Network, through Sr Suzette Clark RSC, was sent out to Senators while CRA members were gathered together at their annual National Assembly in Adelaide. About 140 congregation leaders and their lay associates are presently meeting to ponder the theme, "Charism Beyond Borders."
Speaking at the Assembly, Sr Anne Derwin RSJ said, "We are seeking a more humane approach which is bipartisan and inclusive."
"The loss of life is tragic and we must all work together to ensure that people seeking asylum are given that opportunity. This isn’t a topic to be debated. These are people who are reaching out to us.”
Citing their years of accompaniment with asylum seekers and refugees in their various ministries, Catholic Religious Australia also indicated that they are ready to be part of a long term solution.
“With other Church and community groups, we have the expertise and the resources to be a part of the solution. These are human beings desperate to escape war, discrimination and persecution,” said Sr Anne.
Read the full statement here.
(Photo of Afghan children in a refugee camp by Paula Bronstein is from the Refugee Week resources kit)