On Palm Sunday (April 13th 2014), CRI joined approximately 10,000 other people at the March for Refugees in Melbourne. Board Members Chas Alexander, Frank Meredith and Garry Warne were joined by a number of CRI members. As powerfully articulated by key speakers, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young of the Australian Greens and the Reverend Alistair McRae of the Uniting Church, the policy that CRI strongly supports is that all Australian refugee detention camps should be closed immediately and the detainees released, with support, into the Australian community while their applications for asylum are being processed.
CRI is especially concerned for the future of the 1100+ children who are in Australian detention centres. Under Australia’s “protection”, they are locked up in closed communities where many people, out of despair and anger, are behaving violently towards themselves and others and where the risk of death and disease is high. CRI will campaign on behalf of children in detention to ensure that their human rights to freedom, education, normal family life, health care and self-determination are respected. CRI deplores the current mandatory offshore detention policy of both major parties. Change is urgently needed.