Interception and Offshore Processing of Asylum Seekers: The International Law Dimensions

Halstead Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
UTS Law Review, 2007, 9 (1), pp. 7 - 25
Issue Date:
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For decades the international community has conducted a delicate and politically charged balancing act trying to reconcile the inexorable increase in refugees-and the need to find permanent homes for them with the fundamental right of all countries to have secure frontiers. While the notion of non-refoulement remains fundamental to the treatment of asylum seekers, their rights vis A vis the states in which they seek asylum are significantly circumscribed by their alien status. States have a right to control entry to their territories. In the development of asylum law and policy, the central difficulty for states, and indeed the international community, is how to construct an appropriate balance between the urgent humanitarian demands to protect those who are genuinely in need of asylum, and the exclusion of those who do not qualify for humanitarian protection.
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