Australia’s treatment of refugees breaches International Obligations

Australia have done everything legally possible to prevent asylum seekers from being able to make a claim. The pictures below are taken from a comic designed to put off potential asylum seekers. The comic portrays a deep sense of hostility towards refugees.

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Australian government targets asylum seekers with graphic campaign while it has been criticised Green immigration spokeswoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young described the graphic novel as “fear-mongering propaganda”, adding that it “fails to even acknowledge that the vast majority of refugees are felling war, torture and terror”. This is just one of the measures Australia has taken in an attempt to limit their liability under the 1951 Refugee Convention. A key part of this appears to be refusing to acknowledge the distinction between economic migrants and refugees. The comic portrays the motivation to move to Australia as being based on financial reasons rather than a “well founded fear of persecution”.

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The comic shows offshore processing camps as being rife with disease and stress. The story today that in Australia asylum: One killed in violence at PNG camp shows that these conditions are not exaggerated. Australia has a duty to respect the human rights of people while they are waiting for an assessment. Australia is failing to meet international obligations under the Refugee Convention.

There has long been concerns about the legality of the offshore processing camps. In Analysis: Australia’s offshore asylum process Benjamin Pynt, the director of Humanitarian Research Partners, based in Australia, told IRIN. “This policy will see asylum seekers sent to Nauru [in the Pacific] or Manus Island [Papua New Guinea (PNG)] before having their refugee status assessed in a move Australia hopes will circumvent its international human rights obligations,” Amnesty International has also published a report about Australia: Asylum seekers held in cruel and prison-like regime on Manus Island.

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