"The rights of refugees and basic human rights are inextricably linked. Today's human rights abuse is tomorrow's refugee movements. Quite often, refugees' rights are curtailed by the same states that declare them in accordance with international and domestic instruments, only because they are non-nationals. While the foundation of refugee rights is the principle that all men and women have the right to belong to a society in which they are protected by the state, the respect to the principle of non-refoulement is at the core of being a refugee. Even though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaims rights to all, including refugees, states use international principles of sovereignty to shut their doors in front of asylum seekers. Furthermore, it is not easy to utilise international mechanisms of protection to instigate complaints against a potential host state, based on its arbitrary act to shut its doors. This is because one needs to seek remedies before authorities of the same country where she or he has been denied. In addition, international law has few precedents on the matter even assuming it was treated as an exception to the former rule. This situation puts refoulement victims in a dilemma. ... Since the first time when the wave of asylum seekers from Rwanda hit Tanzania in 1959, the flow of refugees continues. Tanzania has hosted refugees not only from its neighbouring countries, but also as far as from South Africa, Zimbabwe and Somalia. With an estimated number of 602,00 refugees population in 2004, Tanzania was among the top five refugee-hosting countries in the world. Tanzania ratified the international and regional refugee instrumetns, as well as other human rights instruments that may enhance the protection of refugees. Subsequently, Tanzania enacted appropriate legislation in order to make the refugee instruments enforceable within the national legal framework. The principle of non-refoulement is enshriend in all legal instruments of which Tanzania has an international, regional and national obligation to respect. However, in recent years a trend of sporadic incidents in which the principle of non-refoulement was not respected, has been observed. For instance, in October 2004, 68 Burundian asylum seekers were forced to return to Burundi following the orders of the local authorities. One of the most recent incidents occurred in January 2005 when the government returned two families of nine persons, despite assurances made to UNHCR that they would be granted refugee status. This research looks at the obligation of the Government of Tanzania to protect rights of asylum seekers and refugees. This is in line with the principle of non-refoulement as enshrined under international and regional instruments of which Tanzania ratified. It further explores the role of international communities in responsibility sharing (often referred to in the humanitarian community as 'burden sharing') as a way to ensure that all states respect the principle of non-refoulement. ... The first part of this research is the introduction, that is, the background to the problem, problem statement, scope of the research, hypotheses, objective of the research, literature review, research methodology, and outline of chapters. The second chapter looks at the right to non-refoulement under international, regional and national legal instruments. Chapter three deals with respect of the principle of non-refoulement in the refugee operation of Tanzania. Chapter four examines the relationship between the principle of non-refoulement and responsibility sharing with a view to reflect on the role of the international community in promoting refugee rights. The last chapter is the conclusion of the research and recommendations." -- Introduction.
Thesis (LLM (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa)) -- University of Pretoria, 2005.
Prepared under the supervision of Dr. Atangcho Nji Akonumbo at the Department of Social Science and Management, Catholic University [of Central Africa] in Yaounde, Cameroon