The asylum seeker issue explained.
Currently, it's pretty hard to decipher fact from fiction with regards to the current issues around individuals seeking asylum in Australia. Below we will try and shine a light on the basics. What are asylum seekers? Can people who seek asylum in Australia study? Work? Get access to welfare?
Refugees versus asylum seekers?
‘Asylum seekers are the people who have sought protection as a refugee, but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been assessed. However, under international law, a person is a ‘refugee’ as soon as they meet the definition of refugee, whether or not their claim has been assessed’.
Source: refugee council of Australia
The facts on people who currently seek refuge in Australia.
Around 30,000 asylum seekers living in Australia are on temporary visas, they live mostly in Sydney and Melbourne
Approximately 12,000 asylum seekers receive Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) payments.
This income support is provided at 89% of the job seeker allowance and is made available for asylum seekers while they wait for their claim to be finalized.
Asylum seekers receiving SRSS payments typically spend around half of their income on rent, one quarter on utilities, and much of the remaining on transport and essentials, leaving approximately $AUD 20 per week for food.
Many are forced to skip meals or to rely on low-cost, nutritionally inadequate foods such as instant noodles and plain rice as food insecurity becomes an issue.
In June 2018 the government cut SRSS payments
Can asylum seekers access welfare?
Whilst some asylum seekers receive SRSS payments they are ineligible to receive food from some charitable providers, highlighting their particular vulnerability and the importance of alternative ways to access support. That’s where i.feed.refugees comes in, we fill the gaps and act where big NGOs and governments can't.
i.feed.refugees connects caseworkers, directly with access to fresh food markets to provide culturally relevant fresh food vouchers to refugees in crisis. Having Memorandum's of Understanding in place (partnership commitments) means we are all working together as a team to provide coordinated support to this urgent issue of food insecurity.
How can you help?
It's pretty basic - buy an i.feed.refugees organic cotton tee and you will be giving someone access to fresh food of their choice. That is pretty meaningful if you think it through. This is someone who has had to flee their country, friends, careers, and now struggle to support their most basic needs. An i.feed.refugees voucher is an opportunity to rebuild confidence and self-esteem. It is not a handout of leftovers. It requires the individual to navigate public transport to attend the market, it allows them total independance over what they buy, and it provides invaluable connection and contact outside of their community.
Buying an i.feed.refugees tee shirt or reusable jute shopping bag you will be highlighting the insanity of the government cuts, coupled with that you will also be giving a week’s fresh food to a refugee in crisis.
We would love your support via social media to spread our advocacy. Take a stand and have your say. Each order contains a blank poster, fill it in with your personal statement and take a picture of yourself. Share it to insta or facebook with the #ifeedrefugees.
Thank you x