National Week of Solidarity runs from 6 September to 12 September 2020. This year’s theme is No Child Left Behind, part of the Nobody Left Behind campaign coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia has joined the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), and fellow Catholic partners, including the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), Vinnies NSW, the House of Welcome, the Justice and Peace Office (JPO) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, and Catholic schools around the country to acknowledge, pray for and act in solidarity with families seeking asylum and their children.
The impacts of COVID-19 have been particularly tough for people seeking asylum. Many have experienced job losses but have not had access to any form of ongoing Federal Government financial support. Many are also unable to return home because Australia is yet to make a decision on their claims for safety and protection.
There are approximately 16,000 children and young people seeking asylum in Australia.
As a result of the Federal Government’s policies, many families and children have long been at risk of homelessness, destitution, and hunger. Their circumstances have become ever more precarious during the pandemic.
Today, many hundreds of children seeking asylum are wholly reliant on JRS Australia’s food bank to eat healthy, nutritious meals. A significant number also depend on emergency relief payments to pay rent or buy life-saving medications.
Children need love, care, safety, and education, not the stress of wondering where their next meal will come from or whether they will be homeless.
Join us in calling on the Federal Government to extend ongoing financial support to the thousands of children seeking asylum who cannot leave Australia and need security.
For updates on what schools are doing in solidarity with children seeking asylum, follow JRS Australia on Facebook or Twitter.
You can also sign the Catholic petition here.