Asylum Seekers as Pariahs in the Australian State

  • Claudia Tazreiter
Part of the Studies in Development Economics and Policy book series (SDEP)


The year 2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations Refugee Convention (hereafter the Refugee Convention), which articulates most directly the grounds for protection that should be offered to those fleeing persecution. The majority of countries in the world do have substantive obligations to people who claim to be refugees, as signatories to the Refugee Convention and its Protocol of 1967. In the fifty-year period since the establishment of the Refugee Convention, the idea of (some) rights being universal, thereby applicable to all of humanity rather than the members of a particular state, has been given political efficacy through the vehicle of human rights. Rights, such as those embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, privilege no particular concept of human life, or of cultural traits, beliefs or practices. The consolidation of human rights gathered momentum in the later half of the twentieth century through the proliferation of human rights institutions and the efficacy of the idea that protecting such rights is of intrinsic value across and between cultures and nations.


Asylum Seeker Australian Government Federal Election Detention Centre Immigration Detention 
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© United Nations University — World Institute for Development Economics Research 2005

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  • Claudia Tazreiter

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