Australia's treatment of Asylum seekers

Essay by dicksmithUniversity, Bachelor's May 2005

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

"Australia contravenes national and or international laws by the way it treats children of asylum seekers"

1. What laws does the Australian Government contravene by the way it treats children of asylum seekers?

The rights to seek and enjoy protection from persecution is a fundamental right respects and preserved in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The responsibilities of countries to provide protection are set out in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. These rights are addressed in a number of conventions including The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), all of which the Australian Government have signed and agreed with the conventions. (Source 1) However only the commitments made under the CRC have been substantially incorporated into Australian domestic law.

Australia, along with an increasing number of countries, in spite of international obligations has tried in current years to evade its international obligations to asylum seekers through the introduction of harsh and discriminatory domestic laws and practices. Arriving without documentation, custody of all those, including family and children, regularly extended periods is general in many countries. (Source 2) However, this openly contravenes with international standards of refugee protection which deem that the detention only be used in exceptional circumstances and for the shortest period possible.

In any circumstances other than as a matter of last resort the detention of children also contravenes the CRC. Australia is the only country without documentation on arrival are maditorily detained, resulting in possible detention for asylum seekers, including children for months and sometimes years.

It is part of our obligations under the Refugee Convention and CRC that we offer these children an environment of...

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