Church Calls for Consideration of Migration Bills

24 September 2001

The acting National Director, Social Responsibility and Justice, Uniting Church in Australia, Ms Rosemary Hudson Miller, today expressed her concern at the possibility of the passing of the Migration Amendment Bills.

She said "These bills collectively represent a departure from both the spirit and the letter of the UN Refugee Convention.

"Uniting Church Refugee and Asylum Seeker Policy opposes a diminution of human rights for refugees and asylum seekers.

"The President of the Uniting Church in Australia has written to Mr Beazley requesting a reconsideration of the Australian Labor Party position this matter.

"The churches are providing considerable care to refugees and asylum seekers and see the day to day effect these bills would have on the most vulnerable people in Australia at this time.

"The Uniting Church is committed to working for solutions to the current increase in numbers of on-shore asylum seekers, but these solutions should not be short term or made at the expense of our commitment to human rights for all people.

"Australia has a proud tradition of commitment to human rights. The Uniting Church in Australia encourages all members of Parliament to continue in this tradition." concluded Ms Miller