Vol 3, No 1, 2004

Boat People: Why the Queue Jumping Argument Fails

John Ozolins

Abstract

In the current debate surrounding asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia, it is alleged that they are "jumping the queue" and therefore are committing illegal acts. This ignores the facts that there is no "queue" for refugees to jump, that they are entitled to sanctuary from war according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and that we are obliged on the grounds of both compassion and justice to accept asylum seekers into Australia. The current treatment of asylum seekers by the Australian government is therefore unjustified.