Australia's proposed visa-ban likely breaches Refugee Convention

By REUTERS
November 5, 2016 05:48

 
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MELBOURNE - 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 county's offshore processing center's 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 convention's 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.

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