Share thisEmail this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditPrint this page
Two men sheltering in boat

The usual way of seeking protection is to come to a country and ask for protection. This is commonly called  ‘seeking asylum’, and people who come this way are often called ‘asylum seekers’. This generally means that they have not yet had their claims to be a refugee formally determined.

In Australia, ‘seeking asylum’ is often seen as being the ‘wrong’ way to come, and the ‘right’ way is to wait in a queue and be selected by UNHCR for resettlement. In fact, seeking asylum is the way most people get protection in the world, and is the way that is protected by the Refugee Convention.

Latest news

Cancelling visas on ‘character’ grounds: The Ombudsman reports

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has published a report investigating the administration of the process of visa cancellations as a result of the Migration Amendment (Character and General Visa Cancellation) Act passed in 2014. The change in the law required the Minister to cancel visas automatically in certain circumstances.
read more

Visitors’ access to people in detention

In recent months, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has increasingly heard from these visitors that security conditions in immigration detention facilities are being ratcheted up and it is now more difficult to visit people in immigration detention. Correspondingly, people in immigration detention are increasingly isolated from the wider community, negatively impacting their mental and physical wellbeing. As a result, we have started a national study to explore those concerns further. The focus of this research is on access to people in onshore immigration detention facilities.
read more

Briefing on lifetime visa ban

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 was introduced into Parliament on 8 November 2016 and passed the House of Representatives on 10 November 2016. It is now…

read more

Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs)

What is a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV)? A Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) is one of two types of temporary protection visas available to those claiming asylum who come…

read more

An island of despair: Amnesty International’s report on Nauru

Are we torturing people on Nauru? Yes, according to Amnesty International, in its recent report Island of Despair. This report was based on interviews with refugees on the island, people who worked for companies that provided services in Nauru under Australia government contracts, and others concerned within the Australian community.
read more
Thinking Beyond Offshore Processing: Key Recommendations From The Refugee Council Of Australia

Thinking Beyond Offshore Processing: Key recommendations from the Refugee Council of Australia

This paper explains our views on the path beyond offshore processing, bringing together existing recommendations in some of our key reports, including: Australia’s response to a world in crisis (March 2016, ‘Australia’s response’), Eroding our identity as a generous nation: Community views on Australia’s treatment of people seeking asylum (December 2015, ‘Eroding our identity’) and Improving Refugee Protection in Asia-Pacific: How Australia can make a practical difference (July 2015, ‘Improving refugee protection’).
read more

Academics call for just and humane refugee and asylum policy

Scholars have called for a just and humane approach to refugee and asylum policy in a new policy paper published by Academics for Refugees. The paper recommends the end of policies of deterrence and for the development of alternatives that take into consideration both humanitarian and political considerations.
read more