Volume XXXIX – Number 2 

Stephanie Dudek


Abstract: The article evaluates the human right policies of Australia, noting an incongruence between its policy regarding East Timor and its own problems with illegal immigration. Australia has always been a strong supporter of the human rights around the world. They showed their support not only by signing the UN Charter but also by contributing to the formation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When conflict arose in Indonesia after East Timor elected to become independent, Australia saw the need to intervene with the help of “a group of friends”: The United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, and Japan. They intervened in order to save citizens from the heinous crimes that were being committed against them. But when illegal immigrants or “boat people,” sought asylum in Australia, they were treated poorly. Australia saw them as inferior and wanted nothing to do with them, so they were either turned away, or, if they were to be considered for asylum, were placed in detention centers where they were held for years at a time. Lastly, the article points out the reaction of states in regards to the behavior Australian displayed when dealing with the situation regarding illegal immigrants. Most of those states were displeased with the behavior of the Australian, saying that Australia was evading its legal obligations to all asylum seekers.

Keywords: Australia, East Timor, UN Charter, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights, illegal immigrants, asylum.     

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