Refugee Council of Australia
Dark silhouettes of men behind fence

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 (NB: 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 number of refugee or humanitarian entrants who have been detained because their visas have been refused or cancelled under s 116 or s 501 of the Migration Act.

This graph shows the numbers of people whose protection, refugee and humanitarian visas  have been cancelled in held or community detention under s 501 and s 116.

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

These two graphs shows the number of protection, refugee and humanitarian visas cancelled under s 501 and s 116 by visa subclass and year.

This graph shows the number of people in that situation who have been released from detention.

This graph breaks down the number of people who held refugee or humanitarian visas who are now detained on Christmas Island.

This graphs breaks down the same number by visa subclass.

This graph shows how long these people have spent in detention.

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 and their place of detention.

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

This graph shows the kinds of visas granted to some of those with a qualified security assessment.

Join us

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.
  • Category

  • Topic