Edited by Jane Falkingham, Maria Evandrou and Athina Vlachantoni
Commodities and People, Capital, Information and Technology
Edited by K. Bruce Newbold and Kathi Wilson
Edited by Satvinder Singh Juss
Edited by Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson
The principal domestic mechanism through which Australia gives effect to its protection obligations under the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and under other human rights treaties, is the protection visa. This chapter describes the procedural treatment of asylum-seeking children in Australia and considers whether it is compliant with Australia’s obligations under key provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This chapter adds to the existing literature by examining the treatment of all asylum-seeking children and by focusing on legislative and policy changes in 2014 and 2015 affecting procedural rights at the primary and merits review stage of the protection visa application process.
Mary Crock and Lenni B. Benson
In this introductory chapter we identify themes that will be carried throughout the book. We begin in section 2 with a discussion of the human rights challenges presented by children on the move, posing questions that our contributors will address as they build on the themes we identify. This is followed by an examination of obstacles that have been created to recognizing child migrants as rights bearers. After setting out in section 4 a brief outline of the book’s structure, the chapter concludes with some comments on global initiatives that have been made to address the challenges associated with mass migration, on the one hand, and of forced movement of refugees, on the other. We will argue that the uncertainty and risks facing the world in the new millennium certainly constitute problems – but they also offer opportunities for positive change. Four foundational principles inform our discussion of how states should respond to children on the move. The first is that childhood is unique in that the status of being a child is transitory and (absent disabilities) the capacities of children evolve as children age. Second, it follows that children require special protection and assistance, most particularly in their younger and adolescent years, if they are to develop and thrive. The third point is that procedural accommodations should be made for children in recognition of the physical and cognitive stages of their development. The fourth and final principle both flows from and unites the three that precede it. It is that the treatment of child migrants matters because it has long-term consequences – both for the children themselves and for their host communities.