Malaysia Deal Statement
- Posted: 21st June 2011
MALAYSIA DEAL STATEMENT
THIS STATEMENT WAS AGREED IN THE FINAL PLENARY SESSION OF THE REFUGEE CONFERENCE 2011.
CONFERENCE PARTICIPANTS (INDIVIDUALS OR ON BEHALF OF ORGANISATIONS) ARE INVITED TO FORMALLY ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR SUPPORT OF THIS STATEMENT
By proceeding to the enquiries email on this website and typing 'Malaysia Deal Statement' in the subject line
We strongly urge the UNHCR to condemn a swap deal that would see 800 asylum seekers sent from a country that has signed the 1951 Refugee Convention, Australia, to a non-signatory country, Malaysia.
This agreement not only breaches Australia’s international law obligations to protect those seeking asylum but directly undermines UNHCR’s core mandate in a number of significant respects. Firstly, the fundamental rights of those fleeing persecution and seeking protection from a Convention country, including those set out in EXCOM Conclusion 28, will be denied, setting a dangerous global precedent. Secondly, those being removed will be denied the prospect of any real durable solution and instead face the very real prospect of ongoing human rights abuses. Thirdly, by overtly politicising resettlement this agreement further undermines a principled approach to resettlement, based on compelling need, rather than a resettlement state’s vested political interests. Finally, given Australia has stated it will not resettle any of the 800 removed, it will undoubtedly separate families, undermining UNHCR’s attempts to ensure “derivative status’ applies to vulnerable women and children.
This agreement also has the potential to legitimise the current treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Malaysia, a practice that falls seriously below international human rights standards as set out in Articles 2 to 34 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Again, we strongly urge UNHCR to condemn this agreement.
PLEASE SIGN OFF BY 5PM Tuesday 28 JUNE 2011 (Sydney COB).
List of Organisations and Individuals (PDF) (805 Kb) (PDF) (795 Kb)who have endorsed the Statement.