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Two men sheltering in boat

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

Latest reports

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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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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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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Snapshot of refugee and asylum policy: Human Rights Commission reports

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has released a second edition of its snapshot report on asylum seekers, refugees and human rights. The report provides a useful short summary of many concerns raised by current Australian refugee and asylum policy, including offshore processing and indefinite detention.
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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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Thinking beyond offshore processing: Key recommendations from the Refugee Council of Australia

This paper explains our views on the path beyond offshore processing, bringing together existing recommendations in some of our key reports, including: Australia’s response to a world in crisis (March 2016, ‘Australia’s response’), Eroding our identity as a generous nation: Community views on Australia’s treatment of people seeking asylum (December 2015, ‘Eroding our identity’) and Improving Refugee Protection in Asia-Pacific: How Australia can make a practical difference (July 2015, ‘Improving refugee protection’).
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