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‘It is better for one man to die for the people …’

In times of threat, real or imaginary, there are always scapegoats. In Australia, asylum seekers seem to be in that unhappy position. Statistics for 2012 indicate there were 45.2 million displaced people and 937,000 asylum seekers worldwide. Developing countries host the greatest numbers. Australia’s refugee response is not the most generous, but it makes it into the top 25 nations. Labelling people is the first step to dehumanisation. Calling desperate people ‘illegal maritime arrivals’ deprives them of dignity and human rights. It justifies draconian measures such as the sending of pregnant women to Nauru, with scarce medical resources, and children to Manus Island, where malaria is endemic. Jesus, as a threat to power, you had to die. Help us stand up for the rights and welfare of asylum seekers and refugees and to help where we can.