Australia marks 60 years in refugee convention

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Australia will have been part of the United Nations refugee convention for six decades this week.

The Menzies government acceded to the refugee convention on January 22, 1954, enabling it to officially come into force internationally.

The convention focuses on the process of granting asylum to people fleeing persecution.

In the past 60 years Australia has given some form of protection to about 620,000 refugees, the Refugee Council of Australia says.

However, only about 64,000 of these were granted asylum in Australia.

Most were given Australian help to resettle in other countries.

Earlier this month the UN’s refugee agency warned Australia could in breach of its obligations under the convention if the navy pushed asylum-seeker boats back to Indonesia.

There was speculation in late 2013 the government might pull out of the convention in its efforts to stop the boats but Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that option was not under consideration.

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