Labor 4 Refugees 2014 Conference Motion

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L4R NSW Motion for 2014 ALP NSW Conference

NSW Labor reaffirms its commitment to a consistent policy on asylum seekers and refugees that promotes the rights and dignity of those seeking asylum through:

  1. Consistency with our values of fairness, compassion, solidarity and non-discrimination;
  2. Adherence to the UN Refugee Convention and complementary international conventions.

NSW Labor believes that policy regarding asylum seekers and refugees should:

  1. Ensure that people who seek asylum in Australian territory are not punished or discriminated against for their mode of arrival.
  2. Use detention facilities solely for ascertaining health, security status and identity as quickly as possible, but within 90 days. Ensure that those in detention facilities have access to an appropriate standard of care including health and education services.
  3. Have all claims involving children processed in the community, not in detention facilities.
  4. Ensure that claims are processed in a timely manner, adhering to principles of procedural fairness and natural justice.
  5. Operate on the basis that refugee status, once granted, shall be permanent.
  6. Reject the excision of any part of Australia from its own migration zone.
  7. Condemn refoulement.
  8. Be based on transparency, independent oversight and accountability.
  9. Treat those with pending claims in the same way, for the purposes of work, services and benefits, as people whose refugee status has been accepted.
  10. Ensure that appropriate and adequate support is provided to assist the settling of refugees in Australia - including through community support networks and immersion programs.
  11. Not explicitly or implicitly prohibit Government funded NGOs from advocating on behalf of asylum seekers.
  12. Take no action to transfer Australia’s legal and moral obligations towards those seeking asylum in our country to our neighbours. Those seeking asylum within Australian territory should be processed and resettled in Australia and have access to the Australian legal system.
  13. Recognise that Australia needs to work globally to address the issue of displaced people, and include a government-wide commitment to building cooperative relationships with our regional neighbours to significantly increase resources and capacity for processing in countries of primary or secondary origin.
  14. Take no action to make travel to Australia more dangerous.
  15. End privately operated detention facilities.
  16. Reject the Liberal Party’s discriminatory policy of mandatory behaviour protocols.
  17. Recognise that persecution on the grounds of gender and/or sexuality gives rise to legitimate claim for asylum.
  18. Reject recent changes to assessment processes including “enhanced screening” and any changes to the definition of “serious harm” or “persecution” including any change to the risk threshold from the “real chance test” to the “more likely than not test”
  19. Increase our humanitarian intake.
  20. Reject indefinite detention due to a negative ASIO assessment.
  21. Maintain Complementary Protection laws.

NSW Labor calls on National Conference to adopt a policy which is consistent with this resolution and reflects an understanding that Labor’s leadership on this issue is instrumental to achieving our vision for Australia.

L4R Background Paper supporting Alternatives to Offshore Processing May 2014