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New Catholic lobby group wants asylum seeker policy change


A new Catholic lobby group known as the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin) is campaigning to reform Australia's policy on asylum seekers.

PolMin, which was launched last month, describes itself as "an independent, not-for-profit organisation committed to bringing about systemic change for the common good in Australian society through influencing public policy in accordance with the principles of Catholic social teaching".

The Catholic Weekly reports that it claims that the asylum seeker policy which is set out in the Migration Act of 1958 was not intended to deal with present day men, women and children seeking asylum in Australia, and therefore results in unconscionable social and personal disadvantage for them.

PolMin, modelled on the successful US based organisation Network, is made up of members of religious congregations from around Australia. The inaugural president, Sr Marlette Black PBVM, says that PolMin differs from other organisations by focusing on specific policy reform to address disadvantage rather than social justice advocacy.

The PolMin campaign will be launched on Sunday to coincide with Migrant and Refugee Sunday.

SOURCE
Catholic Weekly


23-Aug-01