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Australia fails Rome refugee rights test

An international charter of rights of displaced people released for this year's Refugee and Migrant Sunday rejects a number of the policies on asylum seekers embraced by Australia.

The Catholic Leader reports that the charter was prepared in Rome by representatives of the Italian bishops, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Italian Council for Refugees, and the UN High Commission for Refugees.

It has been sent with other resource material to all parishes and schools by the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO).

In the charter, refugees have a right not to be turned back at borders of countries where they seek protection and to a "fair and prompt response" to their applications for asylum. In addition, they have a right "not to undergo detention while their request for asylum is being considered".

Refugee and Migrant Sunday will be celebrated in Australia on 26 August (except Melbourne Archdiocese, where the date is 19 August).

Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office

Catholic Leader