Australia

Humanitarian needs must come first, regardless of visa status

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Australian Red Cross holds grave concerns for those asylum seekers who have lost basic assistance.

Australian Red Cross holds grave concerns for those asylum seekers who have lost basic assistance.

Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer said, "Our view is that people should have their humanitarian needs met while in Australia regardless of legal status; they should never be left destitute in the Australian community. They should have their claims for protection fairly assessed and sustainable solutions must be found for people who need protection.

"Red Cross is acutely aware of the impacts of destitution on vulnerable people and their communities, and is already responding. We will do all we can to address the humanitarian needs of people affected.

"Red Cross will expand its emergency assistance for people that are directly impacted, and will be working with the many agencies that assist asylum seekers over the coming weeks.

"Red Cross is also concerned about the significant mental health impacts of visa changes on people who have already endured long periods of detention and uncertainty.

"We want to extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all the staff, volunteers, organisations and communities who provide practical and emotional support to asylum seekers and others who are vulnerable due to migration every day."

Red Cross is not involved in the legal process; we offer humanitarian support to people regardless of their visa status or mode of arrival. Our Emergency Relief program continues to support those at risk of destitution across the country, in every State and Territory.

Red Cross will continue to advocate directly to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection about the impact of change on asylum seekers and refugees facing destitution.