The RISE Advocacy team seeks to generate positive change regarding the societal attitudes and political policies affecting refugees and asylum-seekers. We achieve this by engaging with various organizational and governing bodies to advocate for refugee and asylum-seeker rights. We aim to advance appropriate refugee and asylum seeker policies, encouraging balanced and accurate media coverage of refugee and asylum seeker issues.
Through this portfolio we advocate and consult on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers with the aim of improving the refugee settlement process and general national policies in dealing with refugees. We focus our efforts on these key areas:
- Refugee welfare and support System
- Refugee rights policies
- Social systems impacting refugees
- Marginalisation and disadvantages faced by refugees
We reiterate that our staff and members have personal experiences as refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees. As such, RISE advocacy is just as committed to ensuring that the work remains at a grassroots level.
Self-empowerment is at the core of sustainable community development. It is synonymous with economic opportunity and social mobility. Our experience has been that philanthropic organisations do not wish to face this reality and are reluctant to fund organisations with a strong focus on advocacy and meaningful social change. In the absence of a bill of rights in Australia, groups like asylum seekers and refugees, who literally face life and death situations if deported back to their country, do not have the legal safety net to prevent systemic discrimination, threats to safety, abuse and neglect. This makes advocacy an essential service for the community.
Currently refugee policies are shaped by public opinion, which is easily manipulated by self-interested parties, rather than the rule of law or proper expertise. With a predicted economic downturn, asylum seekers and refugees are particularly vulnerable to being pushed further into the margins.
With the new government proposing more extreme anti-refugee policies such as sending boats back to Indonesia and cutting legal aid to asylum seekers, RISE sees an ever greater need to advocate for the interests of refugees and asylum seekers. Our organisation is uniquely placed to advocate for sustainable change from within the refugee and asylum seeker community.