What you can do now
Refugees, especially those still seeking asylum, are punished because politicians believe this will make them popular. They are punished because they are easy targets, as they do not have a vote and, all too often, are denied a voice.
It takes immense courage for a person seeking asylum to speak out publicly against these policies. Rightly, they fear that the Government may punish them further for speaking out. The Government can, all too easily, take everything away from them—their income, their dignity, their safety, their hopes and dreams.
We would like to thank those who were brave enough to speak to us, as well as the hundreds of people working with and supporting them through these terrible times. We told them that we would speak up for them, and try everything we could to change what was happening to them.
We cannot do this without your help. If you are reading this, we know that you care. We know that you want Australia to treat people who need our protection humanely and with dignity. We know that you can use your power and your voice to help us end the punishment of those we should protect.
You may already be donating or volunteering to one of the many organisations affected by these cuts, or a member of one of the many incredible volunteer support groups who are keeping people afloat. If you are not, we urge you to do so now. Those organisations need you more than ever.
You may be someone in a position of influence. You may be able to help by employing people who are threatened with losing their income. You may be part of a union, a workplace, a community group, a councillor, or a political party. If so, you can use that power to help.
Most importantly, whoever you are, you can join the campaign we are running with many of our members and allies, Roof Over My Head, to stop these cuts now. We need you to help us carry the voices in this report to those in power, and to put your hand up for those with empty hands.