Refugee Council of Australia
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Statistics on people in detention in Australia

Reasons for detention

The graphs on this page show the proportion of people in detention according to the reason for their detention.

The first graph shows the numbers of people in detention over time by the reason of detention: visa cancellation for character reasons (under section 501 of the Migration Act), because they were seeking asylum by boat, or other reasons.

The second graph shows the numbers of people in each detention facility by the reason they were detained (Note: this does not include people in APODs).

Other refugees in detention

As well as people who are in detention facilities because they came by boat seeking asylum, there are also people who have come on refugee or humanitarian visas, or who have been found to be refugees or are waiting for protection visa decisions, who are now in detention.

This graph shows the numbers of people in detention who had a previous refugee or protection visa or claims.

This graph shows the numbers of those in held detention who previously held refugee or humanitarian visas, by the visa they previously held.

This graph shows the number of people in detention who have been refused protection or humanitarian visas.

This graph shows the number of refugee or humanitarian visas cancelled under s 501 of the Migration Act, by financial year.

This graph shows the very long periods of detention many of these people endure before being removed.

This graph shows the people removed or released following a visa cancellation under s 501.

People held in detention because of security assessments by ASIO

There are still a number of people in held detention because they have been assessed by ASIO as a security risk (either an 'adverse security assessment' or a 'qualified security assessment'). These people cannot appeal against the assessment or receive reasons or evidence.

Refugees and adverse security assessments

This graph shows the extraordinary length of their detention.

This graph shows the outcomes of those with security assessments over the past ten years.

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