One issue which I must admit I find difficult to write about, not just because it is awful in the human toll it exacts but also because it is profoundly shameful that it is being done in our name, is the treatment of all refugees, including LGBTI refugees, by successive Australian Governments.
I, like any citizen activist, have added my name to the list of people calling for the end of offshore processing, and now resettlement, of refugees on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.
My main post on this topic was a letter to the then Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, calling for the end of offshore processing, in particular because it is abhorrent to send LGBTI refugees to countries that criminalise homosexuality:
- Letter to Scott Morrison About treatment of LGBTI Asylum-Seekers and Refugees Sent to Manus Island, PNG
That post also includes the text of a very disappointing response from Mr Morrison’s Department (the Department of Immigration and Border Protection).
Lest anyone think these gross human rights abuses belong solely to one side of Australian politics, I had previously written to the then Labor Government about this issue, and also published their reply:
- Letter to Chris Bowen on LGBTI Asylum-Seekers and the reply
I also provided a submission to a 2016 Senate Legal & Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry examining the treating of asylum seekers and refugees held on Nauru and Manus Island, with the main argument that LGBTI people seeking asylum should not be detained, processed or resettled in any place that criminalises homosexuality:
My most recent piece is a letter to current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, following the October 2016 Senate Estimates hearings in which the Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Security not only didn’t know that homosexuality is illegal in PNG, he didn’t much seem to care either:
In other posts, I wrote about the issue of LGBTI refugees in the lead-up to the 2013 Federal Election:
And I made the (mis)treatment of LGBTI refugees the No 1 of my 13 Highs & Lows of 2013 series of posts (no prizes for guessing whether it was a high or low…):