Across the globe, hundreds of institutions, organisations and individuals will celebrate World Refugee Day. On June 17th, thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of Melbourne to celebrate refugee arts, culture and rights.
Supported by over 50 organisations including Geelong Refugee Action and Information Network (GRAIN), Geelong Trades Hall and Refugee Advocacy Group (RAG), the 2012 World Refugee Day will see people from all walks of life come together to celebrate multiculturalism and rally for a humane approach to federal asylum seeker policy.
This year’s World Refugee Day coincides with the twentieth anniversary of mandatory detention in Australia under which people who arrive by boat are detained for an indefinite period. Refugee advocates from across the country are urging the federal government to scrap the system of mandatory detention which has come under increased scrutiny from the United Nations and governments abroad.
The rally, organised by the Refugee Advocacy Network, begins at 12pm at Parliament House in Melbourne CBD and integrates with EMERGE festival at Fitzroy Town Hall. The Geelong Refugee Advocacy Group, along with local refugee advocates, will be meeting at Geelong Train Station at 10:20am to catch the train to Melbourne.