At the 9 November Council Meeting, Merri-bek City Councillors supported a motion to call on State and Federal Governments to take action to support the Hazara people of Afghanistan.
The Hazara people are the target of escalating genocidal violence in Afghanistan.
The motion called for Council to urge the relevant State and Federal Government Ministers to:
- Formally recognise and condemn the dramatic escalation of genocidal violence against the Hazara people in Afghanistan and actively support international measures to investigate and prevent such violence, including through the relevant United Nations’ bodies and mechanisms,
- Convene an emergency roundtable with the Australian-Hazara Community to hear about the grave concerns that the Australian-Hazara community hold for their family members and relatives in Afghanistan,
- Continue prioritising the settlement of Hazara refugees in Australia as a special group of highly vulnerable people under the serious threat of genocide in Afghanistan.
Merri-bek Mayor Councillor Mark Riley said the persecution of the Hazara people is ongoing and Australian government bodies need to take a stand against it.
“Losing your life because of who you are and where you live is abhorrent,” Cr Riley said.
“Around 100 Afghanis live in Merri-bek, including Hazara people who hold deep concerns for the welfare of their family and friends back home. The violence is causing severe emotional, psychological and financial distress for the Australian Hazara community.
“Merri-bek has always been extremely welcoming to refugees and we strongly encourage the Federal Government to facilitate the resettlement of more Hazara people in our city.
“We will always advocate for issues that infringe on the human rights of our diverse community.
“Our Merri-bek Human Rights Policy guides all of our work towards our perpetual goal of being a more inclusive and welcoming city, especially for refugees.”
Council will write to the relevant ministers in the coming weeks.
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