In response to the current situation in Afghanistan, Western Sydney Community Legal Centre Limited – Community Legal Centre Program wishes to make the following Statement of Support:
Western Sydney Community Legal Centre (WSCLC) provides free legal services with the aim of making navigation of, and access to, the legal system easier for people in need. Our Vision is no less than justice for all. Our staff and services work with clients throughout the Western Sydney Community, including many clients who are culturally and linguistically diverse.
We acknowledge that the situation in Afghanistan is especially traumatic for our Australian Afghani communities, communities that WSCLC support and work with on a daily basis. We empathise with our Afghani clients and community workers. We wish for them to know that they are in our thoughts during this difficult time.
In response to the current situation in Afghanistan, WSCLC has made a request to the Federal Government that there be a prioritisation for the safe travel and passage for Afghans who are at a heightened risk of persecution in Afghanistan. In 2015, the Federal Government, responding to a similar crisis in Syria and Iraq, allowed a ‘special intake’ of 12,000 people seeking asylum from these countries. In order to support those most at risk, we have requested that Government create a new ‘special intake’ for people seeking asylum from Afghanistan and that the intake quota be increased by a minimum of 20,000 places.
In order to assist our Australian Afghani community further, we have also asked that Afghani refugees on Temporary Protection Visas (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) be eligible for Permanent Residency in Australia. This will ensure their own security during these uncertain times and allow Afghani refugees in Australia to apply for and access family reunion visas to assist their families in Afghanistan to escape from violence.
Further, WSCLC has requested that a moratorium be placed on all deportations and forced removals of Afghan nationals from Australia and that the Australian Government, on all levels, provide further financial and material aid to Afghanistan.
We are mindful that many in our Australian Afghani communities will have family or friends in Afghanistan whom they are particularly frightened and worried for. We are conscious that many within the Australian Afghani community will be feeling scared, distressed and worried during this challenging time. For anyone in NSW requiring further support in relation to this situation, please contact:
- Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) Legal Triage Line
- Phone: 0478 700 605
- Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC)
- Phone: (02) 8234 0700
- Legal Aid NSW
- Phone: 1300 888 529
- Salvos Legal Humanitarian
- Phone: (02) 8202 1500
- Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS)
- Phone: (02) 8355 7227
Counselling and Support Services
- Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC)
- Phone: (02) 9078 1900
- Beyond Blue
- Phone: 1300 22 4636
- House of Welcome (HoW)
- Phone: (02) 9727 9290
- Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS)
- Phone: (02) 9098 9336
- Phone: 13 11 14
We remain committed to assisting Afghani Australians and multicultural communities in Western Sydney, especially those who are most vulnerable.
Western Sydney Community Legal Centre Limited – Community Legal Centre Program.