australias proposed visaban likely breaches refugee convention un official
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Australia`s proposed visa-ban likely breaches refugee convention: UN Official

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Arab Today, arab today Australia`s proposed visa-ban likely breaches refugee convention: UN Official

UNHCR Regional Representative Thomas Albrecht
Melbourne - Arab Today

 A United Nations official said Australian would probably be in breach of the Refugee Convention if it enacted a proposal for a permanent visa-ban for asylum seekers who attempted to reach the country by boat, Fairfax media reported on Saturday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull proposed last Sunday that asylum seekers sent to the countys offshore processing centers would be prevented for applying for any visa to Australia, even if they had been classified as refugees or resettled in another country.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees regional representative Thomas Albrecht said such a move would likely breach the conventions article prohibiting the punishment of those seeking asylum.

The proposed permanent visa-ban would be applied to anyone transferred to a regional processing center after 2013, including some 1,400 people currently held offshore.

The leader of the centre-left opposition party, Bill Shorten has criticized the plan, but his party hasnt stated whether they will attempt to block the bill in the Senate, where the government doesnt have a majority.

The current policy of sending asylum seekers who arrive Australian waters by boat to countries like Papua New Guinea and Nauru where their status as refugees is confirmed or rejected has bipartisan support in the Australian parliament.

"While solutions for refugees currently on Nauru and Papua New Guinea are critical, third-country settlement for them would not alter Australias fundamental obligations to provide asylum to those who need and seek its protection, including by sea," Albrecht said, according to Fairfax media.

Source: ANTARA

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