Australia's Legal Obligation to Refugees and Asylum Seekers

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Australia has a legal obligation towards asylum seekers and refugees.

Australia has a legal obligation towards Asylum Seekers and Refugees as it is a signatory to the UN Human Rights and Refugee Conventions. Furthermore, Australia has a moral obligation based on its membership of the world community.
Australia is one of the 146 signatory countries to the United Nations 1951 Convention and or/ 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees”. (Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, 2009)
According to Australian Human Rights Commission an asylum seeker is someone who has fled their country and applies to the government of another country for protection as a refugee, (Australian Human Rights Commision, 2012) whereas a person is a refugee the
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(Human Rights Law Centre, 2011). It is stated that immigration detention is not used to punish people, but instead it is administrative function whereby those people do not have a valid visa were detained and assessed and if proven to be legal they have a rights to stay and if not they will be immediately removed from the country. The concern is to reconcile what the requirements of the UN and those of the Migration Act. As at 30 of April 2012 a total of 6716 people were detained in Immigration detaining centres and 1019 of them are children that are parentless. An individual can be detained for a few days, months or even longer. (Department of Immigration and Citizenship, 2011)
In May 2004 the then immigration spokesperson, now Prime Minster Julia Gillard, said that ‘Labor will end the so – called Pacific Solution- the processing and detaining of Asylum seekers on Pacific islands- because it is costly, unsustainable and wrong as a matter of principle’. Back then Labor party closed down the Nauru centre and processed all asylum seekers onshore and at Christmas Island. And now the Labor Party is implementing the pacific solution again and it is also known that unaccompanied children and minors are being sent offshore to process their papers. With the new legislation and new

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