Time to Open Our Hearts and Our Doors to Asylum Seekers

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Creating & Presenting SAC – Encountering Conflict ‘It is often the vulnerable and powerless, who are unable to avoid the effects of conflict’ Time to Open Our Hearts and Our Doors to Asylum Seekers: Imagine, a six year old girl, not much unlike your daughter or niece or grand-child, sitting huddled on a boat, well, more a pile of junk, in the middle of the Timor Sea. Her name is Ara and her parents scraped together every little bit of their money to send her with some smugglers on a boat that would, supposedly, take her to Australia where she would be safe. Now many of you are thinking, what bad parents, sending their kid unaccompanied with criminals to another country, but really they were doing the best thing for their daughter. They were sending her away from her war torn home to a place where she would, hopefully be safe and where she can have an education and just be a kid. This is sadly, a true and not uncommon tale. As she approaches shore, neither she nor her family could have anticipated the despair, the disillusion, the self-harm, and the attempted suicides that await those whom seek refuge in Australia. But all this is a result of the brutality of Australia’s current policy. Many argue the fact that asylum seekers are “queue jumpers” and “illegal immigrants”. This is not the case and cannot be the case. Mostly down to the fact that being a immigrant and an asylum seeker is a completely different thing. Immigrants are those who come to live permanently in another country, usually for work or a lifestyle change. Whereas an asylum seeker is someone who seeks refuge in a foreign country because of war and violence, or out of fear of persecution. Once granted asylum they are then a refugee. Therefore they are not cutting the queue. In fact there is no queue. They are fleeing danger and persecution. While those against the acceptance of asylum

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