Academics for Refugees Support #SaveMedevac Campaign
#EvacuateNow #ClosetheCamps

Academics for Refugees invite you to participate in the #SaveMedevac campaign by calling on the Australian Parliament to adopt more just and humane policies for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, PNG, Nauru and in our region.

Now is a critical time for action, as the Australian Senate is due to vote in the coming weeks on the government’s Bill to repeal the Medevac laws that allow for life-saving medical treatment and assessment for refugees and asylum seekers on PNG and Nauru. To date, over 130 people have received essential healthcare under these arrangements since their introduction in March 2019. Senator Jacqui Lambie holds the deciding vote when the Senate meets to consider the government’s Repeal Bill. Yet, even if the government’s callous attempt to repeal the Medevac laws is defeated next month, Australia’s cruel deterrence approach to asylum seekers remains unsustainable and deadly. More needs to be done to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and our region have access to asylum, social wellbeing and decent livelihoods.

We invite academics, students and university staff to send a letter over the next week to PM Scott Morrison and Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese urging them to

  • End the legal uncertainty, physical insecurity and psychological harms inflicted on refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, PNG and Nauru;
  • Move away from the current punitive deterrence approach of Operations Sovereign Borders that destroys lives and denies people access to permanent asylum; and
  • Adopt a humane and just policy toward people arriving in Australia to seek asylum that prioritises resettlement, access to permanent asylum and safety.

To participate:

  1. Download and print the letter to PM Morrison and Mr Albanese here (You may modify the text of these letters if you wish)
  2. Sign the letter with your details in the relevant section
  3. Take a photo of yourself holding the letter and upload to social media, if you have an account (You may choose to do a group photo with colleagues as well)
  4. Send the letter to the PM and Mr Albanese via Australia Post (see postal address here and also on the letters)
  5. Invite colleagues, students and university staff to do join you to do so by circulating this email.

We hope that we can not only contribute to critical efforts to #SaveMedevac, but also remind the two major political parties that there are clear and viable evidence-based alternatives to the cruelty of offshore detention, boat turnback and temporary protection.