RAC activist Margaret Sinclair reported on the situation for refugees in Indonesia to the executive of the Victorian Trades Hall Council on 23 June.
The executive carried the following motion unanimously.
Victorian Trades Hall and its affiliates note that 14,000 refugees are trapped in Indonesia, most for eight years and many for ten years or more.
Australian governments have contributed to this inhumane situation. In November 2014, Scott Morrison, then Minister for Immigration, announced that Australia would not accept any refugees who applied through the UNHCR for resettlement after 1 July 2014.
Refugees in Indonesia are not allowed to work, study, get a driver’s licence or get married.
Before the 2022 federal election, Labor said it would give “appropriate consideration” to resettlement of those recognised as refugees in Indonesia by the UNHCR.
Its policy also stated: “Subject to Australian vetting processes and sovereignty concerns Labor will positively consider such refugees for inclusion within the increased humanitarian intake.”
One year on from the election, Victorian Trades Hall therefore calls on the Labor federal government to lift the ban on refugees arriving in Australia from Indonesia through the UNHCR program and expedite their transfer.
Victorian Trades Hall encourages all affiliates to invite speakers from refugees who have been in Indonesia, and from the Refugee Action Collective.