Last updated 15 June
Information on the different advocacy and campaigning lead or endorsed by the sector will be added on this page
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Our sector has taken a lot of interest in the COVID-19 Senate Committee, with community legal centres, peaks and networks all making submissions. CLC Australia's submission has endorsed the recommendations made by CLCNSW, Justice Australia, WLSA, ACOSS, Change the Record and NATSILS. In addition, we made specific recommendations on older persons, renters' rights and financial resources for the sector.
Our advocacy work on COVID-19 continues, some recent advocacy initiatives we have supported and would like to highlight include:
- Renting and Coronavirus
- Critical Condition
- CLCs Australia media release: National Cabinet’s COVID-19 legal sector funding announcement is welcome as an initial investment.
- Refugee Council of Australia Leaving no one behind: Ensuring people seeking asylum and refugees are included in COVID-19 strategies.
- CLCNSW Community legal centres anticipate significant, long-term increases in demand for key services due to COVID-19 crisis
- ACOSS welcomes vital JobKeeper Payment; more work to do to ensure all are supported.
- ACOSS recovery proposals for job creation and poverty reduction
- CLCNSW 9 urgent actions needed to address the social and economic impacts of COVID-19.
- 61,400 men, women and children in Australia, seeking our protection from persecution, are unable to access essential health and financial support. Refugee Advice and Casework Service is calling for Treasurer Frydenberg and Senator Ruston to extend support for all people during this crisis, including refugees and people seeking asylum through this petition.
CLCs Australia have signed on to the following calls:
- Community sector letter on COVIDSafe app
- Open Letter to Support Undocumented Migrants during COVID-19 crisis
- ACCAN's No Australian Left Offline, calling for affordable broadband.
- Consumer Actions’s call to provide relief for thousands struggling due to COVID-19.
- Tenants' Union NSW's call to Protect our Communities: No Evictions In A Health Crisis.
- Economic Justice Australia's Recommended Response to the Government's Coronavirus Economic Measures.
CLCs Australia also supports the following initiatives:
We have been part of a Covid19 Legal Assistance Working Group - convened by Health Justice Australia - which has identified the areas of acute legal need most likely to emerge during the current pandemic.
Have you experienced or witnessed problematic COVID policing in Australia? Report it
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) and State Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), who are urging “Governments to do everything in their power prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody due to COVID-19” In particular, they are calling for early release of prisoners, with priority given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, many of whom suffer from chronic illness, live with disability and/or have family members, including elderly relatives and children, who rely on their support. We understand there are currently no immediate plans to implement early release of prisoners due to COVID-19. You can sign the petition to stop COVID Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
- The call by the National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services for measures to ensure effective support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experiencing family violence, especially women and children.
- Responses to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older persons. In Queensland, a grassroots group of 100 older persons called Seniors Creating Change posts signs in public places and long-term care facilities to raise awareness of the root causes of ageism and social isolation. They also conduct health and well-being checks, sharing news and community. A number of our network members are part of a global community who informed this UN policy brief on COVID-19 and older persons highlighting four key areas for action recommendations:
- Ensure that difficult health-care decisions affecting older people are guided by a commitment to dignity and the right to health
- Strengthen social inclusion and solidarity during physical distancing
- Fully integrate a focus on older persons into the socio-economic and humanitarian response to COVID-19
- Expand participation by older persons, share good practices and harness knowledge and data. Centres signed on to the open letter to the UN Secretary-General in response to the policy brief.
Reports of interest
- WHO resources on COVID-19
- ILO: COVID-19 and the World of Work
- WHO: Mental Health and Psychosocial Considerations During COVID-19 Outbreak
- WHO: COVID-19 Associated Stigma
- Covid-19 Virus and Gender: Key Advocacy points from the Asia Pacific region
- Amnesty International Digital surveillance to fight COVID-19 and human rights
- UNAIDs have launched a new portal
- UN Habitat have launched a new portal
- UNESCO have released information on education disruptions and responses
- OCHR have produced COVID-19 Guidance
- Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People on COVID-19 and older people’s human rights
- Human Rights Watch - Checklists for ensuring Human Rights are respected in COVID-19 responses
- UN Women COVID-19 and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
- UN Experts - No exceptions with COVID-19: “Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions”
- Social Work Responds to COVID-19
- UN Women - Justice for women amidst COVID-19
Centre for Social Impact
Fact sheets on key issues linked to COVID-19 including Homelessness, Loneliness & Social Connection, Protecting People with Disability, Digital Inclusion, Community Services Responses