For Immediate Release: August 12, 2017
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) joins our fellow member organisation, the Australian Medical Students’ Society (AMSA) in its calls for a fundamental reconsideration of Australian refugee policy. As the representative of Australian medical students, AMSA supports the position outlined in “Ending our shame: calling for a fundamental reconsideration of refugee policy in Australia”
Based on its policy, AMSA calls on relevant actors to stop the inhumane treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum in their country. In order to achieve this, AMSA implores the government to institute a 90 day maximum processing time for people seeking asylum, restore funding to the UNHCR, lift restrictions on visiting and reporting on conditions in detention centres, allow people on bridging visas full access to medicare and centrelink, show a commitment to rehabilitating those traumatised by the cause of their displacement, the process of seeking asylum and especially that directly caused by Australia’s long history of scarring detention.
International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) counseled by its policy document on Asylum Seeker and Refugee’s Health, reinforces these calls, condemns any actions which may lead to impaired health of asylum seekers and refugees and extends call to all governments to comply with international human rights and humanitarian laws to ensure that asylum seekers and refugees are treated in a way which protects their human rights, with dignity and without discrimination and arbitrary detention. Furthermore, we call on governments to create and promote safe, legal routes that people needing protection can access in order to reach the country and apply for asylum without endangering their lives. Governments should respect the fundamental principle of ‘non-refoulement’ according to UNHCR, and abstain from expelling people to any country where his or her life would be threatened.
IFMSA calls on its national member organisations to join this call and raise awareness on the status of asylum seekers and refugees and will empower medical students to start similar advocacy activities in the future.
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Contacts at the Australian Medical Students’ Society:
Sibella Hare Breidahl: [email protected], 0400103393
Jasmin Sekhon: [email protected], +61 416 330 158
Elizabeth Bennett: [email protected], 0409269093
Contacts at the IFMSA:
Liaison Officer for Human Rights and Peace Issues,