Asylum Seekers And The Refugee Rights Essay

1594 Words Aug 24th, 2016 null Page
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, 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 (1). 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 but seeks protection nonetheless (2). Therefore there exists a degree of uncertainty regarding the nature of asylum seekers and the legitimacy of their claims for refugee status. 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”(1). 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 (3). 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 in his 2004 paper described (4), a boat-load of asylum seekers who…

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