Justice for refugees? Not unless we keep fighting

Last Updated on 04/08/2022 by National Justice Project

There is still much work ahead of us in the fight for refugee justice. DONATE NOW TO OUR EOFY CAMPAIGN to ensure we can keep fighting.

Many of us are feeling the tide of change – a sense of optimism that comes with a new Government after nine years of the Coalition in power.

Hope is powerful. We stand for hope.

When it comes to the Labor Government’s stance on immigration, we are determined to quickly move beyond hope, to see substantive, implemented change.

This fight for justice is urgent – because the cruel treatment and punishment of refugees and asylum seekers is not over yet.

Of course, we commend the new Government’s release of the Murugappan family from community detention so they could return home to Biloela in Queensland.

We will be relieved if the Albanese Government follows through with the promise to end Temporary Protection Visas.

Butwhile thenew Government supports offshore processing and Operation Sovereign Borders, we cannot yet celebrate a more humane situation for refugees and asylum seekers.

The fact is, by supporting offshore processing, the new Government is allowing horrifying and often irreversible psychological and physical harm to happen again and again to people in immigration detention. It’s allowing a dark history to repeat.

And what our clients have experienced in offshore processing should never be allowed to happen again.

Take the experience of our client Yasmin*, who, after spending four years trapped on Nauru, with no sign of being safely resettled, became so fearful that she began to hear voices. Our client Salman* was a child on Nauru when, after being denied entry to Australia for adequate psychiatric treatment, he began to self-harm.

We continue to stand alongside our clients like Mala*, who was detained on Nauru with her sons and husband. When one of Mala’s* sons died by suicide, she wasn’t even allowed to give him a proper funeral.

At the National Justice Project, we are working tirelessly to hold the Government to account for the harm it has caused with offshore processing, so that our clients feel a sense of justice.

For years, we’ve been running two test cases against the Australian Government to try and establish a duty of care for the immense psychological and physical harm that our clients needlessly endured.

And friends, it’s these cases that give us a sense of hope.

If successful, these test cases will set a ground-breaking legal precedent and pave the way for dozens of our clients to hold the Government to account for the harm they’ve suffered in immigration detention and, in doing so, will help to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

If we’re successful, many more refugees and asylum seekers could follow suit.

While fighting for justice alongside our clients, we will continue to call on the new Government to end the cruel policy of offshore processing, which costs billions of taxpayer dollars and has routinely denied detainees medical care and dignity.

To help us continue holding the Government to account, please make a TAX-TIME donation to our end-of-financial-year campaign.

Your tax-deductible donation will fund:

  • Our two critical test cases seeking to establish the Commonwealth’s duty of care to refugees and asylum seekers in immigration detention
  • Fifty legal cases that, if our test cases are successful, will hold the Government to account for the physical and psychological harm suffered by our clients in immigration detention
  • Legal and advocacy work on Coronial Inquests for refugees who’ve died in immigration detention
  • Submissions to Inquiries in Australia and abroad to stop inhumane treatment of refugees and asylum seekers

Thank you so much for your support. We appreciate any donation you can give – it goes a long way at the National Justice Project.