​The Federal Government’s decision to release asylum seekers into the community without work rights and welfare support, the harsh conditions on Nauru and Manus Island, children being held in detention and reports of self-harming and attempted suicide are causing growing alarm among Australians who believe that asylum seekers should be treated according to humanitarian principles.

What is the humanitarian solution? Please join Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne Dr Philip Freier, as he discusses one of the most pressing moral issues of our time in a public forum, with Julian Burnside AO QC, Lawyer and Refugee Advocate, and Jo Knight, Programs Manager at the Ecumenical Migration Centre, Brotherhood of St Laurence and a volunteer at the Refugee Immigration Legal Service.

Points for discussion will also include:

  • The fairness or otherwise of adverse ASIO assessments of asylum seekers;
  • The Houston Report and the issue of ‘no advantage’ for asylum seekers arriving by boat;
  • The moral question of how we treat people who are in our care;
  • The cost of detaining asylum seekers, estimated to be between $250,000-450,000 per person per year, and how this money might be better spent;
  • Is Australia’s intake of the world’s displaced persons (30 million) a fair share?;
  • Are asylum seekers and ‘people smugglers’ being unfairly demonised?
Bishop Philip Huggins, Chair of the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee, will be MC.

When:    Wednesday 22 May 2013, at 7.30am (morning, please note)
Where:   Deakin Edge (formerly BMW Edge), Federation Square

Roland Ashby, Communications Director
M: 0418 342 561


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