22 Jul 2013

Australia plan violates UN Refugee Convention, says law lecturer

1:38 pm on 22 July 2013

A Monash University law lecturer says Australia's plan to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea is a clear violation of the United Nations Refugee Convention.

Azadeh Dastyari says the plan will punish asylum seekers who should be Australia's responsibility.

Ms Dastyari says refugees may not get the socio and economic rights granted to them through the Convention in Papua New Guinea - such as the right to housing, education and health care.

She says status determination of refugees is also inferior in PNG, which may mean people that deserve protection are sent back to harm.

She says asylum seekers are being punished for their mode of arrival.

"You can't punish a refugee for their mode of arrival. The convention says it doesn't matter how a refugee comes into your country and what we are doing in Australia is saying that people come by boat will have less of rights by being sent to PNG by people coming by plane who will continue to be processed in Australia."

Ms Dastyari says asylum seekers will also be mandatorily detained for protracted periods in PNG - which could be in contravention of human rights law.