There are currently around 16,000 children in families seeking protection in Australia. Many people seeking asylum have lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19, as they often work in the service sectors worst affected. People seeking asylum are not eligible for the JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments, like many other workers. They have been left with nothing. It will be hard for them to re-enter the workforce, especially in the current economy.
There are serious concerns that many families seeking asylum have been left in a situation where they have no work, no income, and no way out. Demand on emergency relief at asylum agencies has in most cases trebled, with unprecedented demand for food, medicines and rent relief.
A coalition of educators, carers and students are working to put pressure on the Federal government to ensure adequate support is provided for people in this situation. COVID-19 does not discriminate, and neither should access to a safety net or assistance during this time. We are in this together and there must be support for all who need it, regardless of visa status.
We are collecting signatories from educators, parents and students, and the relevant bodies representing them, for a joint statement directed to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston. Concerned members of the public are also encouraged to sign on to separate petition in support of the educators speaking out. Click above to sign on to the relevant action.