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Refugee Council of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra

Keeping the Australian Government accountable: a guide

About this guide

This guide has been developed following the publication of a research report on the use of non-judicial accountability mechanisms by the refugee sector.

The use of non-judicial accountability mechanisms by the refugee sector

This guide is for refugees, people seeking asylum, and people advocating on their behalf. It provides information about different ways in which people can raise their issues with the government, and how they can find out information about their issues. This guide explains the role of:

  • The Australian Human Rights Commission
  • The Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Freedom of information
  • Parliamentary committees and Senate estimates.

The guide:

  • Explains their roles
  • Provides links to relevant information, including forms and reports
  • Includes information about what you can expect, and
  • Includes links to relevant information published by the Refugee Council of Australia and its members.

This guide focuses on what can be done in Australia. There are also ways you can advocate internationally.

UN Human rights guide

Raising issues

What do you want to complain about, raise or advocate on? This will change who you can contact, because different agencies or organisations deal with different things.

Sometimes, you want to talk about your own case or the case of someone you are supporting. Sometimes, you want to raise an issue that is happening generally or to a group of people, and sometimes you want to get information or to change policies. This guide will tell you where you can go for different kinds of issues.

You may want to raise an issue yourself or you may want or need someone else to raise the issue for you. If you are a refugee or person seeking asylum, you can usually ask someone else to raise an issue for you. This guide tells you how a person can act on behalf of a refugee or person seeking asylum.

If you are a refugee or person seeking asylum, and you need someone else to advocate on your behalf, you can find an organisation which helps people in your local area in your area using this page.

Services directory

If you are someone who regularly advocates for people seeking asylum or refugees, you can become a member of the Refugee Council of Australia. This will mean you can raise these issues with the Refugee Council regularly, including through national teleconferences where you can talk to other people who may be experiencing the same issue. The Refugee Council of Australia regularly raises issues affecting refugees and people seeking asylum with the government.

Join the movement!

We need you to show our government that Australia cares about refugees. Help us by joining the movement so we can protect refugees, not punish them.

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