20 June 2020 is World Refugee Day

On this day, IEU members call attention to the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution and remind governments that all people seeking asylum are entitled to the full range of human rights and protections.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees and asylum seekers. It acknowledges the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

Currently, there are at least 70.8 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their home. The majority of these are children.[1]

 United Nations Refugee Convention: Australia has an obligation.

People seek asylum in Australia for protection.  It is not safe to return home. Australia becomes their home and as such the Australian Government must ensure that a basic safety net is provided.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states,“Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”. As signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention, Australia has a responsibility to protect all those seeking asylum.

The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention or the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Refugee Convention builds on Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries. As signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention, Australia has a responsibility to protect asylum seekers.

The rights contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention include:

  • The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions.
  • The right not to be punished for illegal entry.
  • The right to work.
  • The right to housing.
  • The right to education.
  • The right to public relief and assistance.
  • The right to freedom of religion.
  • The right to access the courts.
  • The right to freedom of movement within the territory.
  • The right to be issued identity and travel documents.

Read more IEU Speaks World Refugee Day 2020