20 years too long! End Mandatory Detention
Sunday 17 June, 12 noon
Gather State Parliament House, Spring Street, Melbourne CBD
Speakers then march to join the EMERGE Festival in Fitzroy
Bring your banners, signs and messages

Download the poster by clicking here!


Aunty Diane Kerr, traditional owner
Jessie Taylor, Human rights lawyer
Godrey Yoganathan, Tamil refugee
Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens senator
John Gulzari, Hazara refugee
Yustin Papuana Motte,
West Papuan refugee
Louise Connor, state secretary, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Performances by: Future of Rap (South Sudanese duo), The Conch

This year is the 20th anniversary of the introduction of mandatory detention for all asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat.

The Refugee Advocacy Network is calling on all groups and individuals who support refugee rights to come together and rally for World Refugee Day, and send a clear message to the government that it’s time to end mandatory detention.

The crisis in Australia’s detention system continues to escalate with 4783 asylum seekers locked in detention. Six asylum seekers died in detention in the 12 months from July 2010 to June 2011. More than 500 children are in detention, and 32% of asylum seekers have been in detention for more than 12 months.

Increasing numbers have been incarcerated for long periods of time – months and even years.  Over 50 refugees face a life of indefinite detention after receiving adverse security assessments by ASIO. These assessments cannot be scrutinised, reviewed or appealed.

In Darwin, on average, five asylum seekers are being brought to the emergency department each day – a horrifying statistic.

Asylum seekers and refugees in the camps are becoming increasingly despairing and desperate. Something needs to change.

The core of the problem is mandatory detention – an inhumane policy that victimises people who have committed no crime, and simply want a better life for themselves and their families.

Recently, the immigration department has begun releasing around 500 asylum seekers each month on bridging visas. While this system isn’t perfect, it is welcome that some asylum seekers are being released from detention.

It proves that it is possible to do what the refugee movement has been campaigning for – to support asylum seekers in the community while their claims for refugee status are being assessed.

The Refugee Advocacy Network calls on the Australian Government to protect the rights of asylum seekers.

Plan for your group to be represented to ensure that this rally demonstrates the breadth of community support for refugee rights.

Send your group’s endorsement of World Refugee Day 2012 in Melbourne to: refugeeadvocacynetwork (at) gmail (dot) com or ring Sue on 0413 377 978.

Endorsements include:

Act for Peace –National Council of Churches
African Think Tank
Asian Television Australia Association of Victoria Inc.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Asylum Seeker Welcome Centre
Australia Asia Worker Links
Australia-Burma Society Inc.
Australian Democrats
Australian Education Union
Australian Greens Victoria
Australian Jewish Democratic Society
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Australian Mental Health Human Rights and Law Reform Coalition
Australian Nursing Federation
Australian Refugee Association – Ballarat Circle of Friends 93
Australian Services Union – Private services branch
Australian Syrian Association
Australian Vietnamese Women Association
Australia Western Sahara Association
Ballarat Trades & Labor Council
Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
Cambodian Association of Victoria
Cambodian Chinese Friendship Association
Cambodian Association Youth Group
Cambodian Buddhist Association of Vic
Cambodian Buddhist Centre
Cambodian Elderly Citizens Association
Cambodian Women Group
Catholic Office for Justice & Peace
CEPU Communications Division, Victorian Branch
CEPU – Postal & Telecommunications branch
CFMEU – construction division
CFMEU – mining & energy division
Chin Lien Chinese Association of Victoria Inc.
Chinese Community Council of Australia (Vic Chapter)
Chinese Poets and Authors Society of Victoria Inc.
Chung Shan Buddhist Association of Victoria Inc.
Community & Public Sector Union (Victorian government employees)
Community Radio 3CR
Communist Party of Australia
Eastern Art & Cultural Association Inc.
Edmund Rice Aslyum Seeker Project
Electrical Trades Union
Eritrean Australians for Peace & Justice
Eritrean Solidarity in Australia
Fitzroy Learning Network
Friends of the Earth
Federation of Australian Muslim Students & Youth (FAMSY)
Federation of Indo-China Ethnic Chinese Associations in Victoria
Freedom Socialist Party
Geelong Refugee Action and Information Network (GRAIN)
Geelong Trades Hall
Gippsland Trades & Labour Council
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Green Left Weekly
Hotham Mission
Humanitarian Crisis Hub
Independent Education Union Victoria Tasmania
Indo-China Ethnic Chinese Association of Victoria Inc.
Jews for Refugees
Jewish Labour Bund
Justice and International Mission Unit, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Uniting Church in Australia
Khmer Community of Victoria
Khmer Education Centre
Khmer Fine Arts Centre
Khmer Language Program – Radio 3ZZZ
Kurdish Association of Victoria
La Trobe University RAC
Labor 4 Refugees
Liberty Victoria
Lin Yi Lion Dance Team Inc.
Loophole Community Centre
Maritime Union of Australia
Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance
Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office
Melbourne TriDung (CheeYung)Alumni Association Inc.
Melbourne ethnic community radio 3ZZZ
Melbourne University RAC
Monash Environment & Social Justice Collective
Monash Student Association
Monash University RAC
Nam Kwok Cantonese Opera Group Inc.
National Tertiary Education Union
National Union of Workers
North East Melbourne Chinese Association
Office of Justice and Peace, Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Ogaden Youth and Students Union of Melbourne (OYSU)
Prahran Chinese Elderly Citizens Association of Victoria Inc.
Prahran Chinese Women Association of Victoria Inc.
Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees
Radical Women
Refugee Action Collective
Refugee Advocacy Group (Geelong)
Revolutionary Socialist Party
Richmond Chinese Elderly Welfare Association Inc.
RISE (Refugees
Rise for Refugees (Melbourne University)
Shamama Association
Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alternative
Socialist Party
Springvale Asian Business Association Inc. (SABA)
Springvale Ethnic Chinese Elderly Caring Friendship Association
Springvale Ethnic Chinese School
Ta’s Martial Art Academy
Teo Chew Chinese Association
Textile, Clothing & Footwear Union
Thamila Coordinating Council – Australasia (TCC)
The Tue Thanh (Viet Du) Alumni Association
United Voice
Victorian Council of Churches
Victorian Trades Hall Council
Victorian West Papuan Community
Wah Chin Sports Club of Melbourne Australia Inc.
Wat Buddharangsy Temple
Wat Khmer Temple Melbourne