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Lobby group says refugee policies fall short of Catholic Social Teaching

The policies being presented to Australians in the lead-up to Saturday's election fall short of what's required by Catholic Social Teaching, according to the Australian Political Ministry Network (PolMin).

PolMin said the Coalition's policies "substantially" fall short of the requirements set down by Catholic Social Teaching: "The Coalition's policies specifically refuse unconditional entry of Asylum Seekers into Australia, the inalienable rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees are not acknowledged, and the environment required for Asylum Seekers and Refugees to take responsibility for themselves is not provided.

But it praised the Coalition's 'Living in Harmony Initiative' policy as a "worthwhile initiative", while pointing out that "it seems to be at odds with the over riding philosophy of exclusion".

Meanwhile the ALP policies are described as "a step towards" what is required by Catholic Social Teaching. "The establishment of an Australian Coast Guard would mean Asylum Seekers would not have unconditional access to Australia. However, the proposed policies of funding for a Regional Centre for Human Rights is an acknowledgment of the inalienable rights of Asylum Seekers and Refugees."