Asylum Seeker Advocacy Campaign

Sign our Petition

3888 signatures received


As Catholic organisations with a commitment to social justice and upholding the human dignity of every person, we share serious concerns about the impact of both major political parties’ policies on the rights, inherent dignity and wellbeing of people seeking asylum in Australia.

We are particularly concerned about the treatment of children under these policies.

All parents know the special care and protection that children require. We do everything possible to make sure that our children have opportunities to live safe, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. When our children cry out for help, we do not abandon them.

Current asylum seeker policies abandon children who are calling out to us for help. In doing so, we are punishing them for decisions and circumstances that are beyond their control.

There is a need for our community to stand up and call for a humane response to people who seek protection in Australia. This must include a fair go for children including freeing them from detention, providing access to education and opportunities for positive development.

Another way is possible.

Community groups and church organisations across Australia, under the leadership of the Refugee Council of Australia, have endorsed a set of key principles for asylum seeker policy. These principles will allow us to respond to people seeking asylum in a way that is consistent with our human rights obligations and Catholic Social Teaching. This approach is humane and will respect the dignity of all people seeking asylum, including vulnerable children.

We encourage all members of our community to endorse these principles.

Endorsed by

  • Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
  • Australian Jesuit Province
  • Australian Ursulines
  • Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chairman, Australian Catholic Social Justice Council
  • Bishop David Walker, Diocese of Broken Bay
  • Bishop Gerard Hanna, Diocese of Wagga Wagga
  • Bishop Greg O'Kelly, Diocese of Port Pirie
  • Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
  • Brigidine Sisters
  • Campion Centre of Ignatian Spirituality
  • Canossian Daughters of Charity
  • CatholicCare, Melbourne
  • CatholicCare Social Services, Diocese of Parramatta
  • CatholicCare, Wollongong
  • Catholic Education Office, Port Pirie
  • Catholic Education Office, Tasmania
  • Catholic Health Australia
  • Catholic Religious Australia
  • Catholic Social Services Australia
  • Catholic Social Services Victoria
  • Centacare, Adelaide
  • Centacare, Ballarat
  • Centacare, Bathurst
  • Centacare, Cairns
  • Centacare, Townsville
  • Centacare, Perth
  • Centacare, Sandhurst
  • Christian Brothers Oceania Province
  • Cistercian Monks
  • Congregation of the Sisters of Nazareth
  • Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul Province of Australia
  • De La Salle Brothers
  • Discalced Carmelite Order
  • Dominican Sisters of Western Australia
  • Edmund Rice Camps, Victoria
  • ERA (Edmund Rice Advocacy) for Change
  • Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ), Justice Peace and Integrity of Creation Committee
  • Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
  • Good Grief Ltd
  • Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
  • Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters
  • Institute of Sisters of Mercy Australia and Papua New Guinea
  • Jesuit Social Services
  • Loreto Sisters Australia and South East Asia
  • MacKillop Family Services
  • Marist Fathers
  • Marist Youth Care
  • Mary MacKillop Foundation
  • MercyCare in WA
  • Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception
  • Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary
  • Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart
  • Missionary Sisters of Service
  • Missionary Society of St Columban
  • Office for Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Melbourne
  • Office for Justice and Peace, Archdiocese of Sydney
  • Presentation Congregation, Queensland
  • Presentation Sisters, Lismore
  • Presentation Sisters Victoria
  • Presentation Sisters, Wagga Wagga
  • Presentation Sisters, Western Australia
  • Sacred Heart Mission
  • Scalabrinian Missionaries
  • Sisters of Charity Australia
  • Sisters of the FCJ Province of Asia-Australia
  • Sisters of the Good Samaritan
  • Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  • Sisters of the Little Company of Mary
  • Sisters of Mercy, Brisbane Congregation
  • Sisters of Mercy, North Sydney
  • Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions
  • Sisters of St Joseph
  • Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny
  • St Joseph's Catholic Parish of South Yarra
  • St Vincent de Paul Society, National Council of Australia
  • St Vincent de Paul Society, NSW
  • St Vincent de Paul Society, Victoria
  • St Vincent’s Health Australia
  • Society of Presentation Sisters of Australia
  • Southern Cross Care
  • Vincentcare


In response to the current debate in our country about asylum seekers, a consortium of Catholic agencies involved in asylum seeker and refugee services in Victoria – Jesuit Social Services, MacKillop Family Services and CatholicCare – joined together to prepare this simple statement as a way to express our shared concern.

Please join our campaign by signing this petition to express your support. We encourage you to use this statement in your own advocacy efforts.

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