Refugee rights activists occupy office of Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil

April 20, 2023

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Refugee rights activists are stepping up their campaign to ensure all asylum seekers who arrived in Australia under the previous government are granted permanent protection.

After several protest actions targeting Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, activists from the Young Refugees Collective staged an occupation of Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil’s electorate office in Oakleigh.

Towards the end of 2022, Giles announced that 19,000 refugees who arrived under the previous government would be granted permanency.

A further 12,000 people in the “legacy caseload” however remain on bridging visas, and aren’t covered in the recent visa changes. This is despite Labor’s policy position, which it took to the last election, to abolish temporary protection visas.

Clare O'Neil, Minister for Torture. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Clare O’Neil, Minister for Torture. Photo: Matt Hrkac

Speaking inside O’Neil’s office, twelve-year-old refugee boy Kritik Ramachandran said “this is not fair at all”

“We’ve been refugees for more than 11 years now. We should be able to have the same rights as other people.”

“The Labor government has been making little kids go through dangerous and most inhumane processes in the refugee camps they have off shore.”

“They’ve been placing us in this situation where we dread living our lives every single day because we have a chance of being deported to unsafe countries.”

VIDEO: Refugee righst activists occupy the office of Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil.

Matt Hrkac

Matt Hrkac is a photographer and photojournalist based in Geelong and works across Melbourne and throughout Victoria.


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