Just And Rapid Refugee Status Determination

Legal aid, pastoral support and translators

Determining whether or not someone is a refugee requires that we listen to their story. Many asylum seekers find retelling their often horrific stories of persecution and violence incredibly challenging. On top of this, their story must fit within the legal framework of the 1951 Refugee Convention if they are to be considered for refugee status. Their life hangs in the balance because of the difficulty of both being able to tell their story, having it understood and being able to navigate Australia’s complex refugee status determination system. ACMRO advocates asylum seekers be given the opportunity to make use of translators, legal assistance and pastoral support throughout their application for protection. To this end, we urge the Government to reconsider its proposal to withdraw access to IAAAS support from asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat.

End the excision policy and uphold the 1951 Refugee Convention

Australia is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. Upholding Convention obligations requires states to provide asylum seekers with access to robust systems for determining their refugee status. In signing the Convention, Australia accepted that we have a commitment to providing protection to people fleeing persecution. Australia's excision policy takes away the legal right of asylum seekers who arrive by boat to apply for any visa including a refugee protection visa. Australia's excision policy undermines the Refugee Convention and is a spurious example for other nations who have even less capacity to provide refugee protection. ACMRO advocates for the Australian government to repeal the excision policy.

End offshore immigration detention

The immigration detention facilities on Manus Island and Nauru are inadequate for hosting human beings and are not processing centres. Since their recent use beginning in 2013, only one person has had his application processed. These facilities are set up to deter people who are seeking protection. ACMRO advocates that all asylum seekers who reach Australia's shores should have their claims for protection processed in Australia under Australian law subject to the Refugee Convention.