Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Trauma
A refugee, defined by the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees 1951 and the Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees 1968, is any person who has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion.
An asylum seeker is a person who has left their country of origin and has applied for protection as a refugee to a government or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has a right to seek and enjoy in countries asylum from persecution.
Torture and trauma
Refugees and people from refugee-like backgrounds may have been through many traumatic experiences, including torture, as a result of the actions of other human beings in the context of war and persecution that could have a long-term traumatic impact.
Australia’s humanitarian program
Australia is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and has accepted approximately 750,000 people under its Humanitarian Program since around the time of World War II.