An open letter calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru offshore immigration detention centres addressed to Prime Minister Tony Abbot has garnered quite a buzz in the media, academic circles and a mention by Senator Christine Milne in parliament recently. Arguing in support of refugee rights, the letter advocates that offshore detention practices and claims determinations within Australia are fundamentally flawed. This letter demands that the Australia step up to its international legal obligations under the International Refugee Convention.
Written by academics for academics to sign, the letter has garnered signatures from over 1,278 academics representing all Australian universities to date. A number of academics from the Border Crossing Observatory have signed this letter in support.
Opening the topic of discussion with this exciting progress at the recent Academics and Advocates for Refugees meeting, set the tone for the lively and productive discussions which followed. Attended by a number of dedicated academics from several Melbourne universities and advocates from prominent local organisations, and led by Professor Philomena Murray who spearheaded the Letter from Academics to the Prime Minister, topics included the upcoming 13th of April Walk for Justice of Refugees, ideas for policy briefs on refugee and asylum seeker issues, and setting up an online public face of the group.
Want to join the mailing list and find a way to contribute? Email Prof. Murray at email@example.com
Australian academics, read and sign the letter to support refugees.
To find out more about the Walk for Justice of Refugees, see the events page here.
Read Christine Milne’s mention of the letter.
Photo credit: DIAC