TITLE

Child-Proofing Asylum: Separated Children and Refugee Decision Making in Australia

AUTHOR(S)
Evenhuis, Mark
PUB. DATE
October 2013
SOURCE
International Journal of Refugee Law;Oct2013, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p535
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Over recent years, the number of separated children seeking asylum in Australia has dramatically increased. This article contends that the Australian refugee determination system fails to fulfil Australia’s international human rights obligations to separated asylum seeker children as it is ill-equipped to facilitate their participation, or to arrive at quick and durable solutions guided by their best interests. Rather, Australia’s present system indirectly discriminates against separated children, as compared to adult asylum seekers, through its lack of child-inclusive law and procedure and child-focused outcomes. Of particular concern is the current conflict of interest attaching to the Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship’s dual, yet contradictory, role as guardian of separated children seeking asylum in Australia and final arbiter of their immigration status. Although, perhaps most alarming is the lack of any guardian for separated children who attempt to travel to Australia by boat.This article proposes solutions drawn from Australia’s human rights obligations to separated children, including international best-practice standards and procedures. If Australia were to fulfil its international commitments to separated children, this would go some way towards empowering these children to participate on an equal footing with their adult counterparts; and to reaching durable solutions in the best interests of the child.
ACCESSION #
92876027

 

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