Refugee Council of Australia
Tents in Manus Island regional processing centre

Offshore processing statistics

Returns from Australia and offshore processing centres

Since the beginning of offshore processing, 942 people have been returned to their country of origin (both ‘voluntarily’ and involuntarily).

The Department’s monthly updates (from January 2014) show that there has been a consistent, small number of people who ‘voluntarily’ leave the offshore processing centres. The graph also illustrates returns from detention in Australia (voluntary or forced).

Line chart showing numbers of returns from Manus, Nauru and onshore

The government provided a full breakdown was provided for all returns (‘voluntary) and removals (‘involuntary) from Nauru since September 2012 to May 2018, as well as from Manus Island over the same period. This is shown in the graph below.

Line chart showing voluntary and involuntary returns from 2012-2018


Statistics provided by the Department of Home Affairs for 28 August 2019

Senate estimates questions (listed in the downloadable spreadsheet and under relevant graphs or linked to relevant text)

2013-20: Newsroom, Operation Sovereign Borders, monthly, Canberra

From January 2020, Key statistics, Department of Home Affairs, Canberra

2013-18, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Immigration Detention and Community Statistics

June 2016: Parliament of Australia, Australia’s offshore processing of people seeking asylum in Nauru and PNG: A Quick Guide to statistics and resources

January 2017: Parliament of Australia, Boat arrivals and boat ‘turnbacks’ in Australia since 1976: a quick guide to the statistics (Table 4)

Thanks to our volunteers Jorja Kelly, Sophie Boyle, Liam Rasmussen, Johan Ariff, Amna Bakhtiar, Stephen Fodorocy, Michael Li and Andrew Lok.

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