Human Rights & Refugees

Topics: Human rights, Refugee, Australia Pages: 10 (3754 words) Published: January 21, 2011

Human rights are universally recognized liberties for each human in the world granted by birth. Just the fact that you are born entitles you the right to be treated in a comfortable and respectable manner. The important part of these rights is that they are undeniable and inalienable. Meaning no human being should be denied of them, and that no-one can be alienated from them. These rights are equal to all cultures and ethnic groups. Gradually, with the help of protesting, campaigning, support groups and organizations, these rights are being reflected in legal systems with acts and laws with means of enforcement, protection and promotion of the importance of these rights, as well as ongoing education to teach future generations the importance of human rights. However, despite major moves forward in the recognition of human rights over the years, there are still frequent abuses of rights in many countries that choose to ignore these basic human needs. In many cases there is no legislation to support these rights, and even when there is, it has proven difficult to enforce. We are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of human rights and major changes have occurred and changes have been implemented, but more needs to be done.

An increasingly alarming issue in regards to Human Rights, particularly in Australia, is the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Australia is a self-proclaimed Multicultural country, and accepts people from all over the world from many different countries and cultures. Because of this supposed accepting and welcoming nature, many people seek asylum and refuge to escape persecution in their own home country. The United Nations, most famous and well known organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights, states a refugee as someone who: (According to the United Nations Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees) [the Refugee Convention] outside their own country and cannot return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of their: • race

• religion
• nationality
• membership of a particular social group
• political opinion.
Therefore, making these people very vulnerable and dependent on the protection that we as a nation who believes in giving a ‘fair go’ should provide. It is an obligation to observe the rights of these human beings. Australia takes into account the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the most recognized document in regards to human rights. Made and adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on December 10, 1948, to prevent the horrors from World War II occurring again, it lists the basic rights that each human is entitled to. While not being an official treaty, merely a declaration, its power comes through the acceptance by the international community and moral pressure. Ever since its establishment, the UDHR has become a widely accepted form of international customary law, which is particularly important in the issue of asylum seekers and refugees as they are a multi-country issue which often requires cooperation from different countries and often the acceptance and observance of state sovereignty. That is, the power of a state to have control over its own territory and subjects. This concept is in place so that it prevents states from acting within the boundaries of other states. This is important in regards to refugees and asylum seekers because it allows them to gain political refuge, but also in a lot of cases allows abuse of human rights to go unpunished. The UDHR is not automatically recognized as law in Australia, but some of the articles have been enacted into domestic legislation. There are many different ways human rights can be included into domestic legislation such as the introduction through common law (cases), statutes (acts) and in the state and commonwealth constitutions. This happens...
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