Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention

February 6, 2017

ALHR is proud to support and sign this  open statement  calling on our leaders to take responsibility and act to end the uncertainty for people on Manus Island and Nauru. It is time for for a bipartisan approach to evacuate the camps and bring people here to safety.

Open statement calling for immediate action on offshore detention

We, as a coalition of organisations and community groups from around Australia, are writing to express our concern regarding the humanitarian crisis that Australia has created.

Successive Australian governments have managed and funded offshore detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. The people detained there are clearly Australia’s responsibility. This situation has reached crisis point, and immediate action must be taken.

Beyond the reports of physical and sexual abuse, including of children; inadequate medical attention; suicides and attempted suicides; even a murder; the extinguishment of hope has pushed people to the edge.

Many of these people have been recognised as refugees. We owe them protection and safety now.

Meanwhile, politicians are spending years engaged in lengthy negotiations as to the fate of these men, women and children. With the US resettlement deal in serious doubt, the most obvious and humane solution is to clear the camps and bring these people to Australia until a safe long term, appropriate outcome for them can be guaranteed.

We do not have years. Australia cannot allow another person to die or suffer because of our actions.

This is a crisis. We are calling on both major parties to form a bipartisan commitment to immediately evacuate the camps and bring these people to safety.


The Refugee Council of Australia

Academics for Refugees

ActionAid Australia

Amnesty International Australia

APS Refugee Issues and Psychology Interest Group

Asylum Circle

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce

Australian Council for International Development

Australian Council of Social Service

Australian Council of Trade Unions

Australian Jewish Democratic Society

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru

Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group

Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project

Campaign for Australian Aid – Up To Us

Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum

Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees

Children Out of Immigration Detention (ChilOut)

Doctors for Refugees

Edmund Rice Centre

Free the Children Nauru


Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children

Human Rights for All Pty Ltd

Human Rights Law Centre

Human Rights Watch

Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy

Independent Education Union of Australia

International Alliance Against Mandatory Detention

Jubilee Australia

Labor for Refugees

Liberty Victoria

Love Makes A Way

Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office

Mums 4 Refugees

New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties

Oxfam Australia

Pax Christi Queensland

People Just Like Us

Plan International Australia

Queensland Council of Unions

Queensland Nurses’ Union

Queensland Teachers’ Union

Refugee Action Coalition

Refugee Action Network Newcastle

Refugee Advice & Casework Service

Refugee Advocacy Network

RESULTS International Australia

Rural Australians for Refugees

Save the Children Australia

St Vincent de Paul Society National Council

St.Macartan’s Social Justice Group Mornington

Supporting Asylum Seekers Sydney

Tasmanian Asylum Seeker Support

Teachers For Refugees

Textile Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia

The Australia Institute

The Bayside Refugee Advocacy and Support Association

The Catholic Justice Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Brisbane

The National Justice Project

Together Branch of the ASU

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

Uniting Church in Australia

Uniting Church in South Australia

Victorian Council of Churches

Welcome to Australia

World Vision Australia

Media Contacts

Refugee Council of Australia: Laura / 0488 035 535

Oxfam Australia: Amanda / 0411 449 653

Save The Children Australia: Lily / 0416 355 851

GetUp! : Adrian / 0401 726 476

Amnesty International Australia: Anita / 0423 280 658

Human Rights Law Centre: Michelle / 0419 100 519

Australian Churches Refugee Task Force: Matt / 0408 634 373