To: Jacinda Ardern - Prime Minister of New Zealand
Stand up for people seeking asylum on Manus and Nauru
We implore you to stand up for human rights in the Pacific region and to consider your position and your ethical ideals.
We ask you initiate change with New Zealand’s policy on the ‘Mass Arrivals’ bill and that you remove us and our country from any acceptance and involvement of inhumane detention for people seeking refuge and asylum. We strongly opose sending asylum seekers to prison on arrival in New Zealand and detaining them there. Asylum seekers are not criminals.
We ask that you pressure the Australian Government for New Zealand to take 150 people from Australian detention centres per year. This should be met retrospectively for each year since 2013 when it was first proposed. We ask that you campaign to protect human rights in the Pacific and to put more value on human life. Free the people seeking asylum in detention and fight to make mandatory detention illegal.
We ask you to make all people seeking asylum and refuge from Manus and Nauru available for New Zealand’s Refugee Quota Programme under special urgent circumstances and save them from this humanitarian crisis.
New Zealand must push for this to happen, and not wait to be sanctioned by the Australian Government to do so.
We ask that you The New Zealand Government respect the UN convention on Human Rights by holding the Australian Government accountable for its injustices against innocent people seeking safety and refuge.
We ask that the Australian Government is unilaterally sanctioned in a way you see fit by the New Zealand government until it meets its obligations to people seeking asylum and refuge. We also ask that the New Zealand Government requests Australia’s position on the UN Human Rights Council is re-assessed in light of continual neglect of human rights for people seeking asylum.
The New Zealand government on behalf of its people must take a stand and continue to seriously pressure the Australian government to implement humane processing procedures for people seeking asylum and refuge.
The Australian government is in violation of its international law obligations under the Refugee Convention and international human rights law. When will the Australian government be taken to the International Court of Justice to answer for the years of systematic abuse of human rights?
Why is this important?
Do we want to live in a society that accepts inhumane policies? Current treatment of people seeking asylum and refuge in the Pacific needs changing, sign to let our government know we want a better vision for the future. Let's aim to create equality for all including the most vulnerable. Change the situation for people seeking asylum and refuge and help rebuild lives.
There are people who have endured countless sufferings as refugees and are stuck in limbo with little hope for their future and with few rights in the country they now dwell. People living in an open air prison in a country that offers them little hope of a future. In the past few weeks since the Australian elections 12 (as of May 22nd) people seeking asylum on Manus Island have made desperate attempts to end their lives. As of 5 June 26 of these people have attempted to end their lives and /or self harm. On the 10 June 2019 in desperation a young man set himself on fire.
We see it as our responsibility as fellow humans to start acting for a better future creating hope.
Helen Clark made special circumstances for 433 asylum seekers from the Tampa in 2001. Without a delay of years in detention those people were bought here, and successfully started new lives.
This event sparked the beginnings of what the then Howard Government called the ‘Pacific solution’. The beginnings of what has grown to become a Pacific shame. New Zealanders, Australians and people of the wider Pacific feel shame in what the Australian government has been playing out in our region.
The Australian government has been condemned by the UNHCR, and urged repeatedly to bring the asylum seekers to Australia or third country due to the compromised health state of the detainees.
This situation has been going on far too long - SIX arduous, unbearable years for innocent people, 12 and counting - who have lost their lives so far. Many have been forced to return to their homelands risking their lives and suffering persecution. They need the hope of building their futures in a safe society.
New Zealand has made repeated offers to the Australian government for resettlement and been turned down.
As caring people we must act to find solutions, at present we sit beside Australia and accept with complacency the ill treatment of fellow human beings. We want to live in a world free from the barriers that create suffering, hate and injustice. The people seeking asylum and refuge need our protection and they need us to stand up for their human rights.
Please Jacinda Ardern and the New Zealand Government reach out to those so desperately in need of help in our big backyard of the Pacific. The suffering of these people must end and politics should not stand in the in the way of it. Help remove the barriers to doing the right thing as fellow human beings.
It's time to act.
We appeal to you Jacinda Ardern to stand up and do the right thing for these people. We do not accept this policy of ‘Detention’. We push for change. You have shown in your leadership to be guided by what's right, what's fair and just. You are an honest, principled and compassionate leader and we are lucky to have you representing our country. Kia Kaha.
With sincere kindness and hope, the undersigned.
www.amnesty.org www.doctorswithoutborders.org www.msf.org.au www.unhcr.org (search Manus and Nauru from home pages)
Until When? The forgotten men on Manus Island, by the Refugee Council of Australia, Amnesty International report, Nov 2018.
www.unchr.org Article in Summary of Catherine Stubberfield, 12 October 2018.
A. Nazari, As a Tampa refugee, I have seen first-hand the impact when NZ takes moral leadership, The Spinoff, 11 November 2017.
How it will be delivered
Deliver the signatures in person, date dependent otherwise email.