The Refugee Rights Of Australia Essay

1630 Words Aug 26th, 2016 null Page
According to the Refugee Convention (UNHCR 1951, p.14), a refugee is an individual who is either incapable or does not want to return to their country of origin due to fear of persecution on the basis of ethnicity, religion, nationality or held beliefs. An asylum seeker is an individual who seeks protection in a foreign country, but who has yet to establish their refugee status as per the Convention guidelines (Phillips 2011, p.2). Australia is a signatory of the Convention, an international agreement that codifies refugee rights in the international setting, in particular the rights of “non-discrimination, non-penalisation and non-refoulement”(UNHCR 1951, p.3). As such, Australia has the responsibility for determining the refugee claims of asylum seekers and the resettlement of those whom have satisfied the conditions; whilst also ensuring that they are accorded the full extent of human rights assigned by the international obligations that Australia has agreed upon (Law Council of Australia 2014, p. 4). There exists a degree of uncertainty regarding the nature of asylum seekers and the legitimacy of their claims for refugee status. Primarily, it is the inherent suspicion and concern of an individual’s background that influences societal attitudes and by extension, immigration policy. Suspicion leads to fear, fear of globalisation, terrorism and threats to one’s way of life.

The Tampa crisis of 2001 was an event in which, as Richard Devetak (2004, p. 101) in his paper…

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