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Australian Refugee Foundation
Refugee Week

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Indonesian Foreign Minister's comments on refugee protection welcomed

RCOA today welcomed the Indonesian Foreign Minister's plea for countries in the region to share responsibility for the protection of refugees. Read more here.

Restricting legal assistance to asylum seekers increases dangers

The Australian Government's new restrictions on access to funded legal assistance for asylum seekers will increase the risk of people being returned to danger. Read more here.

Submissions sought for 2014 UNHCR-NGO consultations

Feedback from individuals and refugee community groups is being sought on current issues of concern for people living in refugee situations overseas to help inform advocacy at the annual consultations between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and NGOs at Geneva in June. Find out more here.

John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant

Nominations are open for the annual John Gibson Refugee Community Leadership Grant which supports advocates from refugee backgrounds to take part in the UNHCR-NGO consultations at Geneva in June. Find out more here.

Stopping the boats: Australia's appalling example to the world

In a speech at a Yale Law School conference, RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power spoke about recent developments in refugee policies in Australia. Read the speech here.

No fairness and integrity in permanent Protection Visa freeze

The Australian Government's decision to suspend the granting of new permanent Protection Visas will add to the anguish of asylum seekers living in the community. Read more here.

Australia's asylum policy must change to avoid long-term damage

The Australian Government must change course on refugee policy to avoid long-term damage to the lives of asylum seekers. Read more here.

Denial of work rights for asylum seekers must be overturned

The denial of work rights to about 27,000 asylum seekers living in the community on bridging visas is creating fear and uncertainty and must be overturned. Read more here.

Manus Island disturbance a tragedy waiting to happen

The death of an asylum seeker and the injuries suffered by more than 70 others at Manus Island is an appalling tragedy and a failure of Australian Government policy. Read more here.

Refugee intake increase vital to meet urgent protection needs

RCOA has urged Australia to increase the number of refugees accepted under the offshore program to help bridge the widening gulf between global resettlement needs and available places. Read more here.

Use of Temporary Humanitarian Concern visas as an alternative to Temporary Protection Visas

The Australian Government has released details about its new alternative to Temporary Protection Visas. Read more here.

Inquiry into immigration detention of children welcomed

RCOA has welcomed an Australian Human Rights Commission inquiry into the immigration detention of children. Read more here.

Enough is Enough: It's time for a new approach

On the first anniversary of the report on the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, 64 Australian NGOs have called for a new approach to refugee and asylum policy that delivers protection to refugees. Read more here.


Annual Intake Submission

RCOA's annual intake submission brings together commuity views and extensive research on issues to consider in planning the coming year's refugee program.


Media releases


22 April Indonesian Foreign Minister's comments on refugee protection welcomed
31 March Restricting legal assistance to asylum seekers increases dangers
9 March No fairness and integrity in permanent Protection Visa freeze
5 March Australia's asylum policy must change to avoid long-term damage
24 February Denial of work rights for asylum seekers must be overturned
18 February Manus Island disturbance a tragedy waiting to happen
17 February Refugee intake increase vital to meet urgent protection needs
12 February Mental health risks as asylum seekers face more time in detention
3 February Inquiry into immigration detention of children welcomed
30 January Refugee Welcome Zones show local communities can make a difference
28 January Australia Day Honours recognise community efforts for refugees
24 January Former refugee honoured in inaugural New Australian of the Year Award
10 January Family reunion changes will put lives at risk


16 December Independent oversight of asylum seekers' health essential
4 December Visa freeze a new low in Australia's treatment of asylum seekers
18 November Australia-Sri Lanka cooperation raises serious human rights concerns
6 November Stop using 'illegal' label: 138 groups appeal to PM
19 October Return to Temporary Protection Visas is punishment not deterrence
29 September Challenges of refugee protection require greater cooperation
1 September Denial of legal advice would put asylum seekers' lives at risk
30 August RCOA mourns loss of life member Harold Grant
23 August Australia must heed UN call to release refugees from indefinite detention
21 August Jakarta meeting another lost opportunity to protect the most vulnerable
16 August Removing review rights for asylum seekes would deny natural justice
13 August Enough is enough: It's time for a new approach
2 August Resettlement statistics explode myth of regular pathways for refugees
27 July Operation Sovereign Borders an immature response to serious humanitarian challenges
24 July PNG solution a collective punishment for victims of Taliban
23 July Australian hypocrisy undermines regional efforts to protect refugees
19 July Australia's refugee response not the most generous but in top 25
4 July Australia's doubling of Refugee Program praised in global resettlement forum
28 June Fairness and justice should underpin Refugee Status Determination
17 June Abandoning Refugee Convention counter-productive
13 June Middle East provides an impressive lesson in hospitality
3 June Shortcomings in pilot sponsorship program
16 May Australia’s expanded excision law a new low in refugee protection
7 May Right to work fundamental for asylum seeker families
1 May Detention of children no longer a last resort
17 April People displaced by climate change require new solutions
5 April Government urged to release children from Manus Island detention
22 March Parliament urged to support Bill to resolve indefinite detention of refugees
20 March Federal Court case on Afghan removals welcomed
18 March City of Ryde Council praised for positive leadership on refugees
18 March Opposition's denial of appeal rights more punishment for asylum seekers
25 February Violence in Quetta exacerbates pain of family separation
13 February Regional refugee protection in Asia-Pacific is unfinished business
4 February Australia must act on UNHCR report on Manus Island detention
31 January Excision policy undermines regional refugee protection
26 January National honour for former Refugee Council President



20 December

Malaysia deserves praise for accepting stranded asylum seekers
18 December Aid budget should be preserved
15 December Pilot sponsorship misses the mark
13 December Resettlement program for at-risk Afghan employees welcomed
6 December Call for suspension of forced return of asylum seekers to Sri Lanka
5 December David Bitel
23 November Opposition cut to refugee program a cause for despair
23 November No place for cruelty in asylum policy
22 November Questions raised over returns to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka
21 November 'No Advantage' is maximum disadvantage for boat arrivals
21 November Manus Island is no place for refugee families
1 November Excision policy the final brick in Fortress Australia's wall
28 September RCOA farewells John Gibson
3 September Alarm at Opposition call to reject all Sri Lankan asylum seekers
23 August Resettlement increase a step in the right direction
17 August New Australian legislation undermines global asylum system
15 August Protection sidelined in rush to implement deterrence
14 August Australia must meet its regional responsibilities for refugees
20 July Improving regional refugee protection key to asylum policy
28 June Regional refugee protection in the Asia-Pacific
18 June Poorer nations show leadership on refugee protection
15 June New website dispels misinformation about seeking asylum
7 June Refugee Week 2012 - "Restoring Hope"
4 May An unhappy 20th birthday for mandatory detention
2 May Homestay network important part of asylum seeker support
30 April Global campaign to end child detention wants 428 video messages from Australian youth
30 March Legislated time limits for immigration detention essential
20 March Bill fails to address refugee protection needs
19 March Refugee Council welcomes uniform asylum process
2 March Refugee Council welcomes Minister for Multicultural Affairs
17 February Victoria to showcase refugee resettlement services
17 February The Daily Telegraph wrong about asylum seekers
1 February Australia urged to take lead on resettlement


22 December Nauru is no solution
25 November Refugee and asylum seeker policy on a positive pathway
22 November Public forum to celebrate Refugee Council of Australia’s 30th
17 October Resettlement freeze sends wrong message
14 October Migration changes a positive start
23 September Regional refugee protection framework vital
19 September Complementary protection legislation passed
16 September Limits to immigration detention urged
12 September Refugee protections ignored in offshore revival
5 September ACT takes lead on asylum seeker support
31 August Refugee Council welcomes High Court ruling
19 August Manus Island deal is Pacific Solution 2.0
26 July Australia - Malaysia deal undermines regional push for protection
24 June A better way: A risk based approach to immigration detention
20 June UN refugee figures show asylum fears unfounded
17 June Refugee Week marks search for freedom from fear
2 June Detention inquiry a good start but action needed
26 May Urgent need for detention reform highlighted yet again
8 May Malaysia's appalling rights record ignored in refugee transfer deal
6 May Manus detention plan undermines international cooperation
5 May Opposition plumbs new depths in attack on refugee arrivals
27 April Increase in long-term detention at heart of unrest
14 April Scrutiny of detention welcomed
5 April New detention centre: Same problems, more cost
28 March Australian aid and resettlement critical to Bali Process talks
15 March Detention needs overhaul not band-aid fix
4 March Government gets it wrong with more detention centres
24 February Bill offers greater protection for vulnerable people
7 January A missed opportunity to scrap an unfair system


22 December Refugee arrests in Thailand highlight struggle for protection in South-East Asia
15 December Christmas Island tragedy
14 December No Afghan returns without safety measures
11 November High Court ruling a critical step towards fairer asylum system
18 October Refugee Council welcomes plans to release children from detention
11 October Refugee Council supports call to release children from detention
30 September Refugee Council welcomes lifting of suspension
17 September Time to review detention policy
3 August Four Corners report highlights need for more effective regional response to refugees
2 August Australia cannot act alone on asylum boats
6 July International cooperation and natural justice critical to new regional refugee processing proposal
23 June UNHCR statistics expose spin on asylum issues
21 June Need to look for solutions during Refugee Week 2010
27 May Coalition policies a return to punishing vulnerable people
6 May People smuggling inquiry ignores advice
5 May International NGOs highlight damage caused by Australian suspension of asylum claims
18 April Reopening Curtin a step backwards for reform
9 April Halt in refugee processing creates detention concerns
3 April Simplistic political rhetoric undermines efforts to protect victims of persecution
24 March Response to latest UNHCR statistics on asylum applications in industrialised countries
24 February Release of 2010-11 Intake Submission: Australia urged to take greater leadership in refugee resettlement
23 February Entrepreneurial refugees bring economic and social benefits to Australia: new report
29 January Senator Fielding all wrong on detention


17 November RCOA's statement on the situation of asylum seekers aboard the Merak boat
8 November RCOA calls for a humane resolution to the Oceanic Viking impasse
17 October RCOA calls for no scaremongering
8 September Refugee Council welcomes passing of Immigration Detention Debt Abolition Bill
24 June Refugee Council calls for a strengthened humanitarian response to ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka
19 June UNHCR figures highlight need to support host countries
15 June New report highlights refugees' struggle to find protection
11 June Refugees to share stories of fear and freedom at Refugee Week launches
10 June NSW Refugee Week ambassadors share stories
3 June Refugee Week: June 14-20, Australians to celebrate refugees' freedom from fear
13 May Federal Budget 2009-10: Common sense changes build fairer refugee determination process
20 April Refugee Council calls for humane and moral response to unauthorised boat arrivals
17 April Refugee Council calls for rational public debate in wake of asylum seeker boat tragedy


8 December Opposition rewrites history with claims about temporary protection
16 August New high security detention centre unsuitable for asylum seekers
29 July Detention changes help to restore Australia's human rights record
11 July Proust report release a valuable step in dialogue about asylum changes
11 June Les Murray AM - a refugee kid who became Australia's face of football
5 June Refugee Week - June 15-21, 2008: A Place to Call Home
13 May Ending Temporary Protection: another step in vital reforms
13 May Controversy highlights need to reform refugee determination system
8 February Closure of Nauru detention centre welcomed


10 December Refugee Council welcomes beginning of the end of the 'Pacific Solution'
2 October Kevin Andrews' comments on African intake undermine refugee program
2 October Response to outlandish claims about benefits to refugees
12 September Decision on 72 asylum seekers on Nauru welcomed
17 August Refugee Council welcomes closure of Baxter Detention Centre
14 June Refugee Week marks contribution of young refugees
9 May Refugee Council response to 2007-08 Federal Budget
9 May Steps towards resettling asylum seekers from Indonesia welcomed
18 April Asylum swap with US denies Australia's regional obligations
28 March Denial of legal help on Nauru increases chance of people being returned to persecution
15 March Nauru decision another sorry chapter in Australia's treatment of asylum seekers
26 February RCOA's key concerns about Sri Lankan asylum seekers on Christmas Island
24 February Call for fair hearing for Sri Lankan asylum seekers
5 February RCOA seeks Government assurance on African refugee resettlement
17 January RCOA welcomes Tamworth Council's review of decision on refugee resettlement


15 December Call for Tamworth Council to reconsider rejection of refugee resettlement
7 December RCOA condemns Pauline Hanson's cowardly attacks on African Australians
6 December Commonwealth Ombudsman's reports on wrongful detention welcomed
17 October Refugee Week begins
16 October RCOA welcomes Labor Party's review of Temporary Protection Visa policy
14 August RCOA welcomes withdrawal of Migration Bill
10 August Parliamentary vote on Migration Bill diminishes Australia's reputation
8 August RCOA urges inquiry into deaths of failed asylum seekers
14 June Senate committee's rejection of Migration Bill welcomed
29 May Call to reactivate Safe Haven visa for East Timorese
21 April RCOA appoints new CEO
18 April Further concern that Federal Government is flouting Refugee Convention to appease Indonesia
11 April Concern that Federal Government's current review of Australia's refugee obligations will breach 1951 Refugee Convention
30 March Commonwealth Ombudsman recommends the release of 'Mr X', the longest serving detainee
1 February Concerning PKK listing as a terrorist organisation
24 January Concerning Arrival of West Papuans
5 January Call for Justice for Asylum Seekers in Cairo


15 July Refugee Council of Australia calls for a judicial inquiry into immigration detention and removals
20-22 July June Detention Reforms
6 June Refugee Council of Australia calls on all political parties to support detention bills
23 March Refugee Council responds to creation of new visa class for detainees


13 July Announcement welcome but fails to address fundamental problems of TPVs
13 May Child-friendly Government? RCOA response to HREOC report: “A Last Resort?”
12 May Refugee Council welcomes committment to refugee settlement in Federal Budget
23 March RCOA welcomes increase in refugee numbers
12 March Call for increase in size of Humanitarian Program
23 January ALP Policy on TPVs: A step in the right direction


14 November Refugee Council Decries: 'This is not the Australian Way'
6 November Council laments disproportionate excision policy
20 March Commitment of troops to Iraq
12 March Forced return of Iranian asylum seekers
5 March RCOA supports East Timorese Bill


19 December Trying to defend the indefensible
3 December RCOA welcomes ALP refugee policy initatives
8 August Call for a judical inquiry into the operation of the Refugee Review Tribunal
1 August Government unwise to ignore UN Refugee Report
22 July A case study of Australia's committment to families
19 June Councils declare themselves Refugee Welcome Zones
7 May Australia cuts back its committment to UNHCR
14 February Representing asylum seekers honestly
7 January It's too early to send Afghans back


24 September Asylum seekers used for election gain
19 September Refugee Council asks for empathy with all victims of persecution
10 September Refugee Council denounces latest knee-jerk proposals
28 August Australia turns its back on those in need - again!
14 August Time for alternatives
13 August Minister's legislative amendments threaten refugee protection
20 June MP and Ruddock leave out relevant facts on refugees
30 March Anti-Human Rights Bill must be defeated


31 July Criticisms of Australia's mandatory detention policy
9 June Protests at Woomera Detention Centre
13 April Return of Kosovars
5 April Savage cut to Humanitarian Program
25 February No justification to stop processing of Humanitarian Program