Recent Reports – Australia’s Response to Refugees


The Australian Human Rights Commission calls on the Australian Government to make urgent changes to improve protections for approximately 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in the Australian community.

A new report Lives on hold: Refugees and asylum seekers in the ‘Legacy Caseload’ reveals the human rights situation of approximately 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers, including families and children, who arrived in Australia by boat before 1 January 2014.

DOWNLOAD: Lives on hold: Refugees and asylum seekers in the ‘Legacy Caseload’

Parliament of Australia, A research paper, Boat ‘turnbacks’ in Australia: a quick guide to the statistics since 2001 Updated 16 November 2017

This guide provides statistics on the number of boats that have been ‘turned back’ since the practice of removing unauthorised maritime arrivals in Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels (SIEVs) from Australian waters was introduced by the Howard Government (from 2001–2003) and reintroduced by the Abbott Government (in December 2013). It updates boat ‘turnback’ data provided in another Parliamentary Library publication, Boat arrivals and boat ‘turnbacks’ in Australia since 1976: a quick guide to the statistics (January 2017).

DOWNLOAD: Boat ‘turnbacks’ in Australia: a quick guide to the statistics since 2001

Edmund Rice Centre assisted their international partners in the preparation of this NGO Alternative Report as part of the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee’s review of Australia.
The submission focuses on Australia’s treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum, especially as this relates to the right to life and prohibition of torture and of other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, rights of non-citizens (articles. 3, 6, 7, 9 and 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) Australia, NGO Alternative Report.
Submitted by Franciscans International Edmund Rice International 121st Session Human Rights Committee Geneva, Switzerland September 2017

DOWNLOAD: NGO Alternative Report

Law Council releases Regional Processing Policy, calls for initiative on regional approach.

With the closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre imminent, the Law Council is calling on the Australian Government to work with countries in the Asia-Pacific region to establish a cooperative, transparent approach to address the flow of asylum seekers.

The Law Council’s Regional Processing Policy, “Proposal for Australia’s role in a regional cooperative approach to the flow of asylum seekers into and within the Asia-Pacific region,” October 2017

DOWNLOAD: Proposal

Edmund Rice Centre, THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT Afghanistan’s current situation, drivers of migration and returnees experience, July 2017

This report is the continuation of the Edmund Rice Centre’s determination to investigate Australia’s most recent deportations to Afghanistan by providing an overview of Afghanistan’s current security, political, and socio-economic situation, the drivers and trends of migration, and the returnees’ experience, compiled from both primary and secondary sources.

DOWNLOAD: Deported to Danger Update – The Responsibility to Protect – 10 July 2017

Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project; PLAYING GOD the Immigration Minister’s Unrestrained Power April 2017

This report was written by Lauren Bull, Elizabeth Colliver, Emily Fischer, Shawn Rajanayagam and Edmund Simpson as members of Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project (‘RAP’). RAP is a community of lawyers and activists working to advance human rights in Australia. RAP works across a range of issues including equality, government accountability, refugee and asylum seeker rights and criminal justice reform.
The forward has been written by Ian Macphee AO Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1979–82)

DOWNLOAD: PLAYING GOD The Immigration Minister’s Unrestrained Power

Report of the Senate Committee: Serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre 21 April 2017

DOWNLOAD: Senate Report April 2017

Australian Human Rights Commission, Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights


Commonwealth Ombudsman, The Department of Immigration and Border Protection THE ADMINISTRATION OF SECTION 501 OF THE MIGRATION ACT 1958  December 2016

Moss, Philip; Review into recent allegations relating to conditions and circumstances at the Regional Processing Centre in Nauru

FINAL REPORT April 2015.      Known as the Moss Review

Australian Human Rights Commission; The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2014)


The ASIO Negative Dilemma,G, Graeme Swincer OAM for Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group  March 2015

Beyond the boats: building an asylum and refugee policy for the long term
Report following high-level roundtable 2014
Authors: Bob Douglas, Claire Higgins, Arja Keski-Nummi, Jane McAdam and Travers McLeod.

Facts about Refugees

List of papers 2009 – 2011 Facts about refugees

Detention Statistics

​​Statistics on the number of detainees in immigration detention are updated on a regular basis. Current and previous statistics are available.

DOWNLOAD: Immigration Detention Statistics

Other Organisations

United Nations Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants on his mission to Australia and the regional processing centres in Nauru
24 April 2017

United Nations Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment on his mission to Sri Lanka,
27 February-24 March 2017