Bishops & Religious Stand Up for Indigenous Rights

In a show of solidarity with Indigenous Australians, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Catholic Religious Australia have issued a joint statement criticising legislation that would continue to undermine the human rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia’s Northern Territory. Their call for deeper consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about laws and policies which affect them is grounded in the principle of subsidiarity.

Read the joint statement Stronger Futures or Stolen Futures? here.

About the author: Sandie

2 comments to “Bishops & Religious Stand Up for Indigenous Rights”

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  1. Nithiya Sagayam - May 13, 2012 Reply

    Dear Friends, I am Fr. Nithiya, A Capuchin Franciscan from India, but working for the Asian Bishops Conferences.

    I am happy to get this news about the prophetic stand of the Bishops and Religious of Australia. The FABC Office of human Development had a special workshop in July 2011 and issued a special actoin plan proposals for Migrants and Indigenous peoples.
    HOpe this will be relevant to share this with others.

    The Asian Institute for Social Advocacy AISA-VIII, 26-29 July, 2011.
    The Office of Human Development (OHD) of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) had a special workshop on the Church’s Response to the Issues of Migrants in the light of Catholic Social Teaching with special reference to Caritas in Veritate from 26th to 29th July, 2011, at the Redemptorist Centre, Pattaya, Thailand. Thirty-five (35) delegates representing the Episcopal Conferences through the Commissions for Migrants,, the Commission for Justice and Peace, Caritas and Church Based Organisations from 12 countries participated in this intensive workshop leading to concrete country-level action plans through networking, advocacy and action. The main focus of the workshop was “the Church’s response to the struggles of Migrants in the light of the Catholic Social Teachings with special reference to Caritas in Veritate”

    Proposals for Concrete Actions
    a. At the Asian Level
    1. The resource materials and powerpoints will be circulated in CD and Book by end of August, 2011.
    2. The OHD will support the Episcopal Commissions in their initiatives for Migrants and IPs.
    3. The OHD will collaborate with Church based Organisations (like ICMC, Pax Christi, Franciscans International, CCI, ACPP etc.) in this process and get their potentials for capacity building, networking and policy making.
    4. The OHD will network with the related UN agencies and other reliable NGOs working on Migrants and IPs wherever possible, to create linkages between them and the conferences.

    b. At the Conference /National Level
    1. Due to the growing concern of the issue of Migration and IPs in Asia, the Episcopal Conferences are requested to give special focus to the ministry of migrants and IPs (where applicable) through the establishment of a Commission either independently or as part of labour or JP Commissions.
    2. The Episcopal Commissions for Migrants, IPs and Justice and Peace together with Caritas could focus on a country wise joint action plans for Migrants and IPs.
    3. It is proposed that a Pastoral Letter for the Migration Day, 18th December be prepared by the Migrant Commission of the Conference with concrete action plans and circulated widely.
    4. The Migrants Commissions are to take up lobbying and advocacy work with respective government ministries towards safe migration and implement them through Diocesan Commissions.
    5. It is proposed that each Migrants commission develop guidelines to the (domestic and overseas) migrants on their socio pastoral entitlements and make them known widely.

    c. At the diocesan Level
    1. It is proposed that in every diocese that Pastoral Ministry for the Migrants (PMM) be established to take care of the spiritual and pastoral needs of the migrants.
    2. Special preference must be given to the domestic migrants and IPs in our institutions for education, health and social welfare. Efforts are to be made for sponsorship and subsidy to support them.
    3. It is suggested that in our magazines and journals a page be allotted to focus on labour news, employment etc. to help the migrants and IPs.
    4. It is proposed that that every diocesan migrant/IP commissions have a grievance cell to protect the Rights of the Migrants and IPs.
    5. It is proposed that there be a chaplain for migrants in the Cities/towns where different language is spoken by a sizable number of migrants.
    6. It is proposed that the Migrant and IP Commissions through the parishes/BCCs collect the data of migrants who are entering into their diocesan territory in order to offer them strategic support.

    • Sandie - May 18, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Nithiya – great information to share.
      How can interested readers order copies of the CD? It sounds like such a useful resource.



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