While the situation has been unfolding on Manus Island, Amnesty International’s Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze and Refugee Coordinator Graham Thom have been on the ground observing and documenting what has been happening for those caught in a state of limbo by the Australian Government’s policies of cruelty.
The Lombrum detention centre may now be closed, but approximately 600 men still reside at the centre, afraid to move to transit centres in the local community for fear of attacks. Power and water have been cut off from the centre, and food and medical supplies are no longer being delivered.
Refugees warehoused on Manus island have already faced four years of uncertainty and suffering — now they are being treated even more cruelly, though they have committed no crime.
Kate has been interviewing refugees who are telling her that they are very concerned for their safety, and that all they want is their freedom.
Instead of walking away and washing their hands of this abusive situation, the Australian Government must do the only humane thing; immediately bring the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island to safety in Australia.
Australia has rejected New Zealand’s offer to resettle 150 refugees, and while the Australian government should take full responsibility for the people trapped by their policies of cruelty, the reality on the ground requires an emergency response. The situation is now a humanitarian crisis, and Australia should not stand in the way of alternatives for resettlement.
With every passing day that the situation on Manus Island deteriorates, it is easy to feel increasingly hopeless — but there are plenty of things we can all do to help make a difference.
Here are some of them
- Call Minister Dutton and your local MP and ask them to end this crisis by bringing the men on Manus Island to Australia.
Minister Dutton: 07 3205 9977
Find your local MP here
- Write a letter to Minister Dutton and Minister Thomas (PNG Minister for Immigration and Border Protection). Amnesty International has released a global Urgent Action calling on the the Australian and PNG governments to create safe options for refugees and people seeking asylum on Manus. View the Urgent Action and get postal information here.
- Host a vigil out the front of your Federal MPs and Senators electorate office using the these candle labels which represent each death of a refugee that the Australian Government is responsible for on Manus Island and Nauru.
- Sign and share the our petition on social media.
- Join us the at the refugee hook up on Tuesday 14th of November 8pm AEST to hear first hand from the research team experiences and findings. Join online here.
- Put your support behind a better plan to make sure that this cruelty ends and never happens again.
We know that watching this crisis unfold is tough. Many Australians care deeply about the plight of refugees, and the situation on Manus Island is taking its toll. The best way to make sure that you can create positive change is to look after yourself. Check out this self-care guide for some tips on identifying when you might be feeling burnt out and what to do about it.