Uniting Church and
Anglican refugee workers express outrage at Government attempts to change
15th August 2001 A Uniting Church Press Release
Uniting Church's national social justice spokesperson Ms Rosemary Miller has
urged Minister Ruddock not to undermine the current UN protocols regarding
asylum seekers, "just because it doesn't suit his political purpose of the
"This is a matter of lifelong consequences for the sake of short term
"We are dealing with life and death issues, with lifetime implications for
refugees and we cannot let these changes happen at the whim of a minister who
cannot see past the next election.
"Sadly Mr Ruddock wants to change the rules simply because they don't suit
his needs at this political moment," said Rosemary Miller, Acting National
Director Uniting Church Social Responsibility and Justice.
Theo Mackaay, Executive Officer Anglican Social Responsibility Commission, said
"The Refugee Convention is 50 years old. It has been the source of hope and
promise for millions during that time.
"It may be that the international community believes it is time to review
and amend it - but that would be a decision for the international community, and
not one which the Australian Government can take unilaterally. In the meantime,
let the convention be the guide even if it means erring on the side of acting
from a spirit of justice and humanitarianism"
"Again the churches call for a compassionate response to genuine human
need. We call for a just response from Australia consistent not only with the
letter of the law but within the spirit in which it was written," Ms Miller
Rosemary Miller available for interview.
Contact: Kim Cain, Media Liaison 0419 373 123