Refugees need to looked after
I APPLAUD the ALP’S considerations to increase the refugee intake to Australia.
I have worked with refugees for three-and-ahalf years and as such know their struggles to survive, the torture and trauma they have often experienced and their incredible resilience and gratefulness to be safe in Australia.
My contact with refugees has taught me what incredibly gracious, resourceful and hard-working people they are in the main.
Let us not forget that but for the grace of God – or luck – it could have been you or me fleeing for our lives.
Many of us have no idea of their experiences.
The reason people from countries like Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran leave everyone they know and love and a culture they also know, love and belong in is to save their life.
Imagine this is you and as an asylum seeker you have seen all the members of your entire family brutally killed in front of you by an (government) authority; or you have been hung by the skin and muscle on your back from a huge hook in a jail for hours; or you have your head forcibly plunged into water so that you think you will die of drowning repeatedly; or you have been badly beaten... so you leave your country, alone, and you survive the very dangerous boat trip to Australia. Because Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, you think you will be safe there.
And then you are punished for years on end by the Australian Government for doing nothing but seeking safety.
The people we treat this way are human, just like me and just like you.
Historically 90 per cent of those who come to Australia by boat (which is not illegal) are found to be refugees requiring our protection.
We must stop playing political football with some of the most vulnerable people in the world. ANDREA CALLAGHAN, Hilton