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SCOA Domestic Violence Discussion Paper

This discussion paper identifies key areas that need to be addressed to improve responses to domesti..

What is the difference between a refugee, asylum seeker and migrant? 

Asylum seekers or refugees and migrants have very different experiences and reasons for moving to another country.

Migrants choose to leave their home country, and can choose where to go and when they might return to their home country. Australia has a long history of accepting migrants.

Asylum seekers and refugees, on the other hand, flee their country for their own safety and cannot return unless the situation that forced them to leave improves.

Under international law, a person becomes a refugee at the time the person fits the definition of refugee.

The United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by its 1967 Protocol (the Refugee Convention), defines who is a refugee and sets out the basic rights that countries should guarantee to refugees. According to the Convention, a refugee is a person who is outside their own country and is unable or unwilling to return due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their:
•    Race
•    Religion
•    Nationality
•    Membership of a particular social group or
•    Political opinion.

The term ‘asylum seeker’ is used to describe people who has fled their own country and applied for protection as a refugee, but whose claims have not yet been recognised by a government.

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