Two men sheltering in boat

On this page you can find our reports, policy briefs and other papers on asylum.

Latest reports

Australia’s man-made crisis on Nauru

Six years after the Australian government began sending people seeking asylum to Nauru, there are still around 900 people left on the island, including an estimated 109 children. All of them will have been there for over four years. Almost 200 people lived in a processing centre, including 14 children, until they were cleared out along with tents and temporary accommodation they were living in for the Pacific Island Forum.
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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. This document summarises some of the more recent policy changes.
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Starving them out: How the Australian Government is forcing people seeking asylum into destitution

Over the past 25 years, people have been supported while seeking asylum through a basic living allowance and limited casework. These support programs were designed so that people can more effectively resolve their claims for protection. In the past few years, and especially since August 2017, the Australian Government has been making it harder for people to access these support programs. This policy brief looks at recent and upcoming policies that will force thousands into destitution.
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New Migration Regulations increase potential for indefinite detention

New Migration Regulations took effect on 18 November that could have a very significant impact on refugees, especially those on temporary protection visas. Unless these Regulations are disallowed by the Senate on 27 November, the Regulations will apply to a broad range of temporary visas, including temporary protection and bridging visas.
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Unwelcome visitors: Challenges faced by people visiting immigration detention

In recent years, people who visit immigration detention have expressed concerns about changes to rules and practices that have limited access for people visiting in detention. The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA), through its Detention Research Project, has interviewed visitors from across Australia to identify and record those challenges, and to make recommendations for addressing them. This report also records the significant role people who visit immigration detention make to those in detention. We outline in this report the critical role they play in supporting people in detention, the value they bring to these most vulnerable people, and the challenges they face in doing so.
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State of the Nation 2017: Refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia

The world is in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Yet Australia’s approach in recent years has been to punish people seeking asylum, while increasing the numbers of refugees it resettles. This contrasting approach threatens the long and proud history Australia has of successful integration of refugee communities. This report reflects what we have heard from refugees and people seeking asylum, and the people supporting them
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Visitors’ access to people in detention

In recent months, the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has increasingly heard from these visitors that security conditions in immigration detention facilities are being ratcheted up and it is now more difficult to visit people in immigration detention. Correspondingly, people in immigration detention are increasingly isolated from the wider community, negatively impacting their mental and physical wellbeing. As a result, we have started a national study to explore those concerns further. The focus of this research is on access to people in onshore immigration detention facilities.
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Addressing the pain of separation for refugee families

Our new report summarises both the continuing and new concerns expressed to the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) during our annual national consultations and other discussions with service providers and refugee community members. It proposes alternatives for positive reforms that will benefit those seeking protection in Australia and the humanitarian arrivals and ultimately enhance the outcomes for our entire community.
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Briefing on lifetime visa ban

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 was introduced into Parliament on 8 November 2016 and passed the House of Representatives on 10 November 2016. This briefing explains the Bill and our key concerns with the Bill.
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