Refugees, Overseas Aid

Movers Archbishop of Adelaide

That this Synod, recognising its commitment to the gospel injunction, ‘I was a stranger and you took me in’ (Matthew 25:35), observing the increasing numbers of refugees world wide, and believing:
(a) that the most effective and satisfactory resolution of this problem lies in the repatriation of refugees to
their homelands;
(b) that the conditions enabling the repatriation of refugees will not come about without specific efforts to resolve political, social and economic problems in those lands; and
(c) that, despite the best attempts at repatriation, many refugees will still remain homeless;
call upon the Australian Government:
(a) to increase Australia’s foreign aid to reach as soon as possible the minimum percentage of GDP recommended by the UN (0.7%);
(b) to give high priority in the direction of foreign aid to programmes which will assist in the repatriation of refugees; and
(c) to ensure that, in any future reduction of the annual numbers of immigrants to Australia, the numbers of refugees remain constant and not fail as a proportion of the total; and
also urge the dioceses:
(a) to encourage parishes and diocesan organisations to sponsor refugees;
(b) to support this encouragement with a parish based education programme;
(c) to participate in existing Community Refugees Resettlement Scheme arrangements; and
and request the General Secretary to forward the text of this motion to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, and also to the Federal Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, and the Federal Opposition spokesman on Immigration; and
this General Synod also note with concern the treatment of people seeking asylum and who are currently in detention in Australia, including those in the Port Hedland Reception and Processing Centre, and call upon the Minister for Immigration to:
(a) act to grant those detained, for over two years, a four year Temporary Entry Permit, to end their period of suffering and deprivation in our country;
(b) review the present policy and legislation concerning the detention of asylum seekers to ensure that all asylum seekers receive timely, consistent, and humane treatment;
(c) ensure that detention centres are located where interpreters, torture and trauma counsellors, and a full range of medical services are readily available; and
(d) act to release from detention those seeking asylum currently classified as Prohibited Non-entrants, if they have a claim of substance.
(The Archbishop of Adelaide – 8-7-92)

Resolution year: 1992
Resolution number: 32/92