Joint Statement issued by
Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV)
Federation of South Sudanese Associations of Victoria (FSSAV)
African Think Tank (ATT)
A joint statement has been issued in response to the recent anti-African community narratives emanating from some politicians and media outlets. The joint statement is issued by the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV); the Federation of South Sudanese Associations of Victoria (FSSAV), and the African Think Tank (ATT).
Last week, the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr. Peter Dutton blamed “Sudanese gangs” for the tragic death of 19-year-old Laa Chol on July 21st. Soon after, the former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called into question all African migration into Australia.
Cr Kris Pavlidis, Chair of the ECCV said; “We know that Victoria Police confirmed Laa Chol was not a member of any gang at any time. We know that most migrants, including those of South Sudanese and other African heritage have settled successfully and contribute to the social and economic development of our society.”
Kenyatta Dei Wal from the FSSAV said; “Our three organisations have come together to demand the facts be published by certain media and politicians. Our African communities and ECCV stand side by side with Victoria Police who is working with the community to diminish youth offending and provide pathways for greater engagement.”
Haileluel Gebre-Selassie Chairperson of the ATT said; “While some young people may be involved in criminal activity they are the minority and do not reflect the larger South Sudanese and the diverse African communities of Victoria.”
Cr Pavlidis added; “Racial profiling and scapegoating are unacceptable, and un-Australian. This happened to the Vietnamese and Lebanese communities in the 1970s and 1980s; and Italian and Greek communities in the 1950s and 1960s. In 2018, we should know better.
Cr Pavlidis went on to say; “Victoria’s crime rate fell last year by 6%, the biggest drop in 12 years and 71% of alleged offenders were born in Australia or New Zealand only 1% was from an African background.”
Our three bodies agree that criminal behaviour is totally unacceptable and we support the appropriate authorities taking rightful action to ensure justice is met.
ECCV, FSSAV and ATT ask Prime Minister Turnbull to lead our country with non-discriminatory migration policies, participate in honest and unifying media commentary and bring all Victorians and Australians together for the greater good of the country rather than continue to divide us.