The Uniting Church in Australia has congratulated the Rudd Government on its decisions to abolish the Temporary Protection Visa regime and to increase the number of places in the offshore Humanitarian Program.
Rev Elenie Poulos, National Director of UnitingJustice Australia, wrote to Senator Christopher Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, commending the Australian Government’s decisions.
The Uniting Church has campaigned for many years for the abolition of the Temporary Protection Visas and an increase in Humanitarian Program places.
In the letter, Ms Poulos also cited the Uniting Church’s 2002 Policy Paper on Asylum Seekers, Refugees, and Humanitarian Entrants which outlines the key values the Church believes should underpin Australia’s policies, legislation and practices.
“The Uniting Church advocates for a just response to the needs of refugees that recognises Australia’s responsibilities as a wealthy global citizen, upholds the human rights and safety of all people, and is based on just and humane treatment, including non-discriminatory practices and accountable, transparent processes.”
Ms Poulos commended the Rudd Government on its decisions to abolish Temporary Protection Visas and to increase the number of places in its Humanitarian Program intake.
Ms Poulos and Rev Tony Floyd, National Director of Multicultural and Cross-cultural Ministries, are scheduled to meet with the Hon. Christopher Evans on Tuesday 20 May.
A range of issues will be discussed at the meeting, including the Citizenship Test, work rights for asylum seekers, ministerial intervention and detention centre bills.
Photo : UNITING CHURCH NEWS