?Seeking asylum is not a crime? – RISE Awareness campaign

Who we are

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees is a not-for-profit incorporated association. RISE is the first refugee and asylum seeker welfare and advocacy organisation in Australia to be governed by refugees, asylum seekers, and ex-detainees. RISE exists to enable refugees and asylum seekers to build new lives by providing advice, engaging in community development, enhancing opportunity, and campaigning for refugee rights. RISE advocates on behalf of its members to improve refugee policies and to generate positive social change in respect to attitudes impacting on refugees.

– Federal election 2013

During this period of campaigning by politicians before the election on 7 September 2013, RISE is launching an awareness campaign urging the Australian public not to be misled by the deceitful and politically opportunistic misinformation regarding Australia?s refugee intake, fuelled by parties on all sides of politics.

For decades, Australian politicians have been stoking fear by misleading the public for political gain. Asylum seekers arriving by boat have been painted as ?queue jumpers? – unscrupulous illegal entrants without morals, capable of throwing even their children into the sea. The targeting of refugee boats reached a new low with the ?Children Overboard? misinformation campaign during the time of ex-prime minister, John Howard, successfully winning him the 2001 election. This exploitative use of refugee boats as a key wedge strategy to attract votes during the Howard era was crafted by campaign advisor Lynton Crosby. Now, both sides of parliament are continuing to legitimise this strategy and the last four elections have been contested and won on the grounds of continued exploitation of anti-asylum seeker hysteria stirred by politicians themselves.

Stop the refugee boat policies have been implemented even during the time of Malcolm Fraser.? It has re-morphed into ?break the people smuggling business model?. Rather than implementing measures to assist asylum seekers? safe passage to Australia, the major parties have instead taken hard-line strategies. This has been geared towards creating more obstacles for asylum seekers to settle in Australia, particularly those who embark on their journey to Australia by boat. Rather than demonstrating genuine concern for the safety of asylum seekers, the latest shifts in government policies are prompted by the aggressive border security program.. In this year?s lead-up to the federal election, both political parties continue to exploit populist and misinformed hysteria surrounding asylum seekers as a disingenuous means of getting ahead in the polls.

But what is the truth behind Australia?s refugee policies?

FACTS (click below)

Say no to the use of refugees as political currency in election time

RISE represents over 30?refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia. We urge the Australian public to Stop the Rot to say NO to utilising refugees and asylum seekers as political currency in the upcoming Federal election.

For more information about our campaign please contact us directly on [email protected]

RISE Team 2013