In the group report, I was the editor and the reviewer. The topic on the report was on Refugees and was mostly based on the class readings and based on the legislation available. I was looking at the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol on the status of the refuges. Some of the ideas I contributed were the readings on lecture nine on refugees has been instrumental in my research and writing of the report. It helped by giving insightful information on laws and policies covering the refugee laws, both local and international.
Such policies include the rights of the refugees and the consequences of breaching such rights. The reading shows the history of refugees, who were seen as legal subjects. In the early 20th century when huge displacements occurred, the situation changed. The UNHCR 1950, clarified the responsibilities and rights of the refugees, and the role of states in regards to refugees. The 1967 protocol relating to the rights of the refugees came into force in 4th October of 1967. A refugee is also defined as a person fleeing their country due to fear of persecution or violence/ the persecution faced must be members of a particular social group, having a particular political opinion, religion, race or nationality. In addition to the definition, the readings also further helped in learning about the rights of the refugees. Such rights include the right to housing, property, education, work, and free movement in the respective territories. Countries are required not to discriminate on refugees and not to expel them from their countries. Refugees also have the right to non-refoulment, whereby they cannot be returned to the country they came from if they are at risk of persecution, death or being subjected to torture. The state is given a responsibility under this principle, where on their part they ought not to expel a refugee on their country. The refugees' roles include abiding by the law of the country they run to and maintaining order. While not being a threat to the state.
Further, based on the readings, human rights are unalienable rights and are universal and applicable to everyone. These rights include the right to life, right to naming, association, and freedom of movement; which apply to the refugees. The article on making poverty a violation of human rights is equally applicable to refugees. This is helpful in ensuring that they also have equal political, economic and social privileges as everyone else. Most refuges become poor and need economic empowerment to ensure sustainability and continuity of life after leaving their country. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also requires that everyone has equal access to civil and political rights and the refugees are not exempted. The refugees are also protected by other legislation like; right not to be tortured by the Convention against torture.
Asylum seekers, immigrants, have various reasons for moving to other countries and most of the time the reasons vary. Immigrants are mostly free to move back to their home country. Asylum seekers and refugees, however, are mostly are at risk of death, persecution or even being jailed. Most of the time the asylum seekers and refugees do not have the option of returning to their home country unless the situation changes. International obligations give Australia the obligation of protecting refugees and asylum seekers as seen in the respective legislations. These obligations do not change whether the asylum seekers have their visa's or not. The class readings have helped in writing the report on refugees while determining the roles and obligations of the different parties, as well as the limitations.
Pogge, Thomas. Freedom from poverty as a human right: who owes what to the very poor?.
The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (The 1951 Convention)
The Immigration Act Australia (1958)
International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (1951)
Convention against Torture (1984)
Immigration Restriction Act Australia (1901)