Refugee Council of Australia
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Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Children in detention

Children in closed detention are generally held in Immigration Transit Accommodation or Alternative Places of Detention. According to the Department of Home Affairs, as of 31 January 2023, there are no children in closed detention.

Over years, there have been examples of children being held in Immigration Detention Centres as well. In April 2013, 31 children were placed in Northern IDC in Darwin. In July 2014, 157 Sri Lankan people seeking asylum by boat were detained on an Australian customs vessel for four weeks. People in this group, including 50 children as young as one, were detained in Curtin detention centre in WA before being transferred to Nauru.

The below graph shows the number of children in closed detention (broken down by immigration detention centres vs. other detention facilities like transit accommodation and APODs), as well as the number living in the community under a residence determination (i.e. community detention) and on a bridging visa. Note that the 50 children referred above are not included in the graph as they were not included in the monthly detention statistics published by the Department of Immigration.

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