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“Family reunion is a key. The reason why it is number one in my list [of concerns] is that socially, psychologically, emotionally, financially, [family separation] is not viable.”

Former refugee from South Sudan

Family separation causes great psychological, social, financial and social cohesion costs to individuals and communities. Many refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia face the daily struggle of being separated from their families.

Although some of this is due to the complicated nature of displacement and migration, the current approach by the Australian government unfairly disadvantages refugees and people seeking asylum in reuniting with their families.

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) are calling on the Australian Federal Government and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to resolve the constant uncertainty and devastating social and psychological impacts of family separation for people seeking asylum and refugees. RCOA calls for:

  1. Allocating at least 5,000 visas under the family stream of the Migration Program for refugee and humanitarian entrants.
  2. Introducing needs-based concessions under the family stream of the Migration Program
  3. Conducting a consultation with refugee communities, practitioners involved in providing support with family reunion applications and other relevant stakeholders
  4. In relation to supporting family reunion, the Australian Government should reduce processing times, increase funding to support the process and remove restrictions to family reunion to people arriving by boat
  5. In relation to the Community Proposal Pilot/Community Support Program, the Australian Government should reduce the associated costs, increase the allocated places and decouple the program from the offshore Refugee and Humanitarian Program.

Sign the pledge to show your support for family reunion and call on Malcolm Turnbull to support a #FairGoForFamilies because families are #BetterTogether