Monash University is financially tied to the detention industry

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Why does Monash University employ the services of MSS who profit from detention centres operating in Australia both offshore and onshore?

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The role of MSS in Australian-run detention centres and it’s relationship with Monash University.


I urge Monash University to divest immediately from MSS for their role within the Australian government’s abusive, human rights-violating detention supply chain in Manus and Nauru as well as its role in onshore refugee detention centres.

MSS have actively chosen to participate in and enforce our communities’ torture and abuse in detention. MSS should be held accountable and not allowed to continue to profit from organisations like Monash University, who have made commitments in policy to anti-discrimination and equal opportunity.

There have been numerous reports and inquiries regarding the deaths, torture and sexual abuse of refugees who have been incarcerated within Australia’s mandatory detention centres. Australia has been a world leader in refugee detention torture for over 30 years and this has been made possible by companies such as MSS being allowed to operate with impunity, bring in enormous profits and escape accountability.

The lack of transparency and accountability in Australian run detention centres is something that has been widely reported and acknowledged by international human rights groups including the UN. There have been many inquiries and many reports of deaths and sexual abuse within these camps yet nothing has changed because the Australian government is not being held accountable. Refugees challenging the mandatory detention policy in the courts have seen their cases mishandled, unfairly dismissed and processed without proper adherence to refugee rights protocol.

People who are fleeing harm in their country of origin, experience a compounding of their trauma under Australian government policies that are designed to punish people who are exercising their human right to seek asylum in Australia. Depression, suicide ideation and other mental illness is pervasive and often a direct result of the experience of detention itself. The detainees’ treatment within the camps, along with the indefinite detention they experience, meets the definition of torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment under International law.

The Australian response to refugees, particularly those arriving by boat, is one of the most punitive in the world, and this means contracting with detention security companies such as MSS will tarnish Monash University in the future. We should all be against human rights violations in offshore and onshore camps in any case, most particularly if we otherwise make corporate commitments to human rights and equal opportunity. It is the right thing to do.

We should not affiliate with security companies such as MSS that violate the human rights of refugees who are seeking protection from persecution and torture. It reflects badly on Monash University and the values Monash University esposes, as well as the decision makers within Monash University and their legacies.

Seeking asylum is not a crime. Being a refugee is not a crime. But the continued contravention of international law should attract the sanction of the international human rights community and its supporters, like Monash University.

Please take immediate action and divest from MSS for their role in the Australian-run abusive detention regime. We cannot wait for one more refugee to be tortured or die in Australian-run detention camps.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.