Providing essential support to asylum seekers

The Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) received funding under our Social Justice Small Grant program to provide pro-bono legal and migration assistance to asylum seekers in Sydney. With our funding, they have assisted 14 people with Safe Haven Enterprise Visa applications and 79 people with Temporary Protection Visa applications, and assisted 11 people through Administrative Appeal Tribunal hearings processes. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful in a small number of ministerial applications.

ERC are acutely aware that behind these numbers are people who have experienced immense trauma and have limited access to social and community support. The highly political nature of refugees has worsened the challenges faced by this group. ERC continue to work with a number of partner organisations to help meet the needs of people seeking asylum.

The grant also contributed to two research projects. The ‘Deported to Danger’ reports include the ‘Afghanistan Situation Report’ and the ‘Responsibility to Protect Report’, which includes interviews with a number of deported Afghans from Australia and Europe.

ERC continues to be concerned about the fate of people whose protection applications have been denied and have been deported to their country of origin. They will continue conducting research into the fate of these people with a view to presenting this research to governments around the world and the United Nations.

These reports are available on their website, www.erc.org.au.