Speech given by Paris Aristotle during the "1st Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma and Recovery Conference - 29/31 March 2017 - Sydney (Australia)
Protecting people fleeing war, conflict and persecution is both a moral and legal obligation for a country like ours. Every person should know that they have a right to protection under the refugee convention - every refugee should be confident that as a part of that they will be properly cared for and every persecutor should fear that they will be brought to justice.
Refugee resettlement is about protection, it is about sanctuary from persecution, it is about nation building and it is about justice.
In the context of Australia’s contribution to this critical international issue, there is one inescapable starting point for the impact of policy on the protection, settlement and care of refugees.
It is that current policy creates two major classes of people recognised as refugees in Australia, and the different ways in which they are treated have major implications for their wellbeing and settlement.