Joint Statement: Australia cannot leave migrants behind as we face COVID-19


The Human Rights Law Centre is proud to join the Migrant Workers Centre and more than 120 other civil society, faith, business, union and migrant organisations across Australia to call on the Morrison Government to urgently expand its wage subsidy JobKeeper scheme to include all working people in Australia, regardless of their visa status or how long they’ve been working in their current job.

Joint statement:

We are all in this together, Australia cannot leave migrants behind as we face COVID-19.

The historic JobKeeper scheme is designed to keep people connected to their workplaces and to keep communities going at a time of crisis.

Everyone in our community should be able to access real support during a public health emergency.

We need to expand the JobKeeper scheme to ensure the eligibility of all employees in Australia, regardless of their visa status or how long they’ve been working in their current job.

Australian politicians say they are proud of our multicultural nation. These words must mean something.

We cannot say we are proud of our cultural diversity if we leave people behind in times of peril. Without a safety net, the many migrants who contribute to our society will be trapped in Australia and living in poverty. This is wrong. It will also make it harder for Australia to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

That’s why we are calling on Prime Minister Morrison and the National Cabinet to show leadership and include migrant workers as part of the JobKeeper Scheme.

Endorsed by: Australia, ACF – Australian Conservation Foundation, ACOSS, ACRATH Australian Catholic Religous Against Trafficking in Humans, Action Aid, ACTCOSS, ACTU , Arab Council of Australia, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Australia Latin American Business Council, Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Catholic Archdiocese Adelaide, Catholic Archdiocese of Port Pirie, Catholic Archdiocese Sydney, Catholic Mission, Catholics in Coalition for Justice and Peace, Centre for Future Work, Committee for Adelaide, Democracy in Colour, Education and Migration Services Australia, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, FECCA Federation of Ethinic Community Councils of Australia, Fitzroy Legal Service , Friends of the Earth, GetUp, Gordon Legal, Human Rights Law Centre, ISEAA – International Student Education Agents Association, Islamic Council of Queensland, Islamic Council of South Australia, Islamic Council of Victoria, Jesuit Refugee Services, Jizoan Zen Temple, Perth , Jobwatch, Migrant Workers Centre, Migration Council of Australia, Most Reverend Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, Mt Gravatt Community Centre, Multicultural Australia, Multicultural Centre for Womens Health, Multicultural Youth Affairs Network NSW, National Association of Visual Arts, National Council of Churches in Australia, National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group, National Union of Students, NOMIT – The Italian Network of Melbourne, Presentation Society of Australia and PNG, QCOSS, QCU Queensland Council of Unions, Queensland African Communities Council, Queensland Community Alliance, Queensland Conersvation Council, Queensland Families and Communities Association, Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma , Refugee Legal, SA Unions, SACOSS, Settlement Services International , South Sudanese Community Association of Victoria, Springvale Monash Legal Service, St Marys In Exile , Sydney Alliance, Sydney Community Forum, Tenants Union of NSW, The Sunrise Project, Unions ACT, Unions NSW, Unions Tas, Unions WA, United-WHY (Working Holiday Youth), Uniting Church in Australia Assembly, Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW & ACT, Uniting Church Synod of QLD, Uniting NSW ACT, VCOSS, Victorian Trades Hall Council, WACOSS, Welcoming Australia, Wesley Mission Queensland, Westjustice & Youth Activating Youth.

Originally published by the Human Rights Law Centre