Where We Stand

What we are

We, the Refugee Action Committee (RAC) in Canberra, are part of a network of concerned people around Australia seeking the fair and humane treatment of refugees in Australia.

We are working to raise public awareness about the government’s obligations to give refuge to asylum seekers and treat them properly as people.

The ACT Refugee Action Committee is composed of individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and is not associated with any political party. We work with any person or organisation willing to help achieve RAC aims on the basis of mutual respect and recognition.

Where we stand

We stand for the humane and dignified treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

We stand for allowing people seeking asylum in Australia to live and work in the community while their claims are being processed – as used to happen for many years – rather than being forcibly detained in Australia or overseas.

We stand for a system which does not discriminate against refugees on the basis of their means of arrival.

We stand for a system which lessens the chances of desperate people taking dangerous sea voyages by rapid processing of their claims before they do so that they can travel here by safe means.

We stand for protection of refugees and assurances to them that they will not be deported to places of torture, persecution and danger.

We stand for an Australia which honours its international obligations to refugees.

We stand for the fair, just and rapid processing of all asylum applications.

We stand for the rights of refugees living in Australia or under Australian control to have their families join them.

We stand for the full legal rights of refugees and asylum seekers under Australian law – the same rights that Australian citizens and non-citizen visitors already have.

We stand for a much more generous approach to accepting refugees in accordance with the wealth of our country.

We stand for an Australia which welcomes refugees as a positive addition to Australia’s economy, culture and society.

What we stand against

We stand against the current system which locks up people seeking asylum in Australia behind razor wire often for years at a time.

We stand against the system which proclaims that those asylum seekers who arrive by boat will never be accepted as refugees.

We stand against the current removal of the legal rights of asylum seekers before Australian courts.

We stand against the system of sending those seeking asylum in Australia to third countries such as Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

We stand against the return of refugees to places of persecution and danger.

We stand against Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) which allow no possibility of permanent resettlement or family reunion.

We stand against the hugely expensive waste of taxpayers’ money on detention and so-called “border protection”.

We stand against the meanness, xenophobia and political opportunism which suggests that asylum seekers represent a threat to Australians.