Refugee Council of Australia
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Australia’s asylum policies

How we treat them depends on how they come

Australia treats refugees in two very different ways. For many decades, Australia has been a leader in bringing some of the most vulnerable refugees in the world from overseas, and supporting them to settle in Australia. This commitment is even more valuable today when it is harder than ever for refugees to find protection in a safe country.

How do refugees come to Australia?

However, Australia’s treatment of refugees who come to Australia seeking protection is now leading the world in the opposite direction: to the most punitive policies aimed to deter vulnerable people from seeking safety. This guide explains Australia’s complex and ever-changing asylum policies.

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