AHRC Report: Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights

Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights
Australian Human Rights Commission • 2017

The second edition of this Report provides an update on legal and policy developments related to refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia since 2013. The Report is not intended to address all the issues facing refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia. Instead, it focuses on developments which place Australia at risk of breaching its international human rights obligations

President’s introduction 

Executive Summary 


  • Global and domestic context
  • Australia’s international human rights obligations

Immigration detention and community alternatives 

  • Detention facilities in Australia
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Detention of children
  • Conditions of detention
  • Detention resulting from security and character assessments
  • Impacts of detention on mental health
  • Alternatives to detention

Protection against refoulement 

  • Screening of asylum claims
  • Refugee status determination

Third country processing 

  • Non-refoulement
  • Arbitrary detention
  • Living conditions and safety concerns
  • Impacts of third country processing on physical and mental health
  • Resettlement arrangements
  • Independent monitoring

Discrimination based on mode of arrival 

  • Temporary protection
  • Support services and entitlements
  • Family reunion


  • Appendix 1: Summary of progress since last Snapshot Report
  • Appendix 2: Timeline of key developments since the introduction of mandatory immigration detention in Australia 
  • Appendix 3: Acronyms used in this report 

Read the full report here