From the RAC Victoria website:
Established in 2000, RAC is a democratic, grassroots activist collective, representing a broad cross section of the community.
Read our original Mission Statement from December 2000
An up-to-date summary of our political demands is:
- Abolish mandatory detention which violates basic human rights and contravenes the UN Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
- Stop deporting asylum seekers who face torture and death in the country from which they have fled.
- Close Christmas Island detention centre as required by international law and recommended by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission of Australia.
- Stop racist scapegoating such as calling asylum seekers “illegals”, “economic migrants”, and “queue jumpers.”
- End the “Indonesian Solution” which violates international law. Since Indonesia has not signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, it cannot be a partner in its implementation.
- Compensate those refugees who suffer on-going psychological and physical harm as a result of lengthy detention under the Howard government.
- Stop fanning the lie that Australia is in danger of being overrun by boat people. Educate the public about our obligations to refugees under Australian and international law.
Refugees fleeing persecution deserve to be treated with respect, not locked up on Christmas Island or in Indonesia. The policies of both major political parties are designed to placate some in the electorate who fear a flood of asylum seekers. These refugees – men, women, and children – are used as pawns in a political game by both the government and the opposition.
While RAC members have diverse political and personal views, RAC’s role in the campaign for refugee rights is informed by an understanding of the bigger political picture, including an historical and international perspective. In fighting for the rights of people fleeing persecution, we respond to the inspiration, courage and suffering of particular individuals. At the same time, we expose and challenge the underlying political, social and economic causes of refugee movements and the violent abuse of refugees’ rights.