Refugee Council of Australia

Detention of people seeking asylum in Australia

In Australia, anyone who does not have a valid visa is required to be detained. This means that people seeking asylum are generally detained, often for long and uncertain periods. There is no independent review of the decision to detain, and people have been detained for increasingly long periods. The detention of people seeking asylum under this regime is one of the harshest in the world, and causes terrible suffering. You can also find more information by type here.
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Optimized rcoa founder major general paul cullen left receiving the unhcr nansen medal in for work on behalf of refugees min

Refugee Council celebrates 40 years

As the Refugee Council of Australia celebrates its 40th anniversary, CEO Paul Power says the organisation “sadly” is as essential as ever before for refugees to “get a fair go”. Mr Power said this was because political...

Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan

On 25 October 2021, the Refugee Council of Australia made a submission to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee inquiry into Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan. Read the full submission here. We...

Our work

Other reports on detention

Factsheets & resources on detention

Visa cancellations cases

This database shows cases since the introduction of the legislation in December 2014 expanding the cancellations of visas. It was developed in collaboration with a Visa Cancellations Working Group, of which the Refugee...

When Mary Met Mohammad

Directed by Heather Kirkpatrick This film follows the arrival of Tasmania’s first detention centre through the eyes of local Christian woman and knitting club member Mary and Muslim Afghan Hazara asylum seeker Mohammad...