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The current situation

Everyone has a right to safety

Australia has been a safe home for refugees since 1945, when half a million Europeans displaced by World War II were granted asylum. In 1954, Australia signed the UN Refugee Convention – making the commitment to not send refugees back to a place where they may be persecuted. 

Since then, waves of refugees have come to Australia from across the world – but not everyone has been welcomed equally. In 2013, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stated that no asylum seeker who arrived by boat would get permanent protection in Australia. There are now thousands of refugees in Australia who have held temporary protection visas for up to a decade, unable to build stable lives. A UN Human Rights Council working group has condemned Australia’s cruel practice of indefinitely incarcerating people seeking asylum. In welcomed news, the government has recently evacuated all asylum seekers off Nauru, and expanded the refugee program.  However, the continued detention of people in PNG and the cut to income support for people seeking asylum means there is still more to be done. 

Although Australia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, it has failed human rights obligations by detaining people seeking asylum.

Advocacy in action

Australians demand more financial support for asylum seekers this Anti-Poverty Week

November 25, 2022

For Anti-Poverty Week, we asked for your views on income support for people seeking asylum. The responses demonstrated an overwhelming… More

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong

It’s time for us to start rebuilding, post-Federal Election

May 25, 2022

It’s time to rebuild. Now is the time for an inclusive and compassionate society with a new Federal Government. Cruel… More

A young girl wearing a headscarf looks at the camera, she is surrounded by other children wearing colourful clothes.

Get the facts: How many refugees make Australia their home each year?

June 16, 2022

Australia has a long history of welcoming refugees to its shores, and is home to a diverse multicultural population of… More

Refugees bring strength, resilience and many talents to the Australian community. The Australian government’s shameful legacy of detention and unfair processes must end so we can make people seeking asylum feel safe and welcome in Australia

Frances Rush OAM

Asylum Seekers Centre CEO

How much do you know about refugees?

Test your knowledge about the situation for people seeking asylum & refugees in Australia.

A young girl wearing a headscarf looks at the camera, she is surrounded by other children wearing colourful clothes.

Learn more about the Asylum Seekers Centre