Recent changes in Australian refugee policy

Recent years have seen numerous changes to Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker policies, largely as a political response to an increase in the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat (51,637 arrivals in the five years to December 2013) and a consequent increase in deaths at sea between Indonesia and Australia (at least 862 deaths recorded over the same period).[1] Both of Australia’s major political parties have attempted to address this issue through deterrence-based policies which block access to protection in Australia and impose penalties on people who arrive by boat. This document summarises some of the more recent policy changes.
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