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In looking for solutions to the failings of the current European asylum system and its inability to operate in times of ‘crisis’, many European politicians have reconsidered an old fantasy: offshore asylum processing.

While Australia and the United States have adopted offshoring policies on and off for decades, the idea has been discussed at the European level since the 1980s but has never materialised, for many good reasons.

This brief examines how offshore processing has found new life in the context of renewed ‘externalisation engineering’ in the aftermath of the ‘migration summer’ of 2015.


  • Making the Global Compacts Work: What future for refugees and migrants?, a new Kaldor Centre Policy Brief, published in partnership with The New School’s Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility. This important Policy Brief examines two international agreements now under negotiation at the United Nations – the Global Compact on Refugees, and the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration – and concludes they have potential to significantly improve the international systems of refugee protection and migration management.

“In this Policy Brief, as in all their work, the Kaldor Centre presents the evidence, draws out the sticking points but also the opportunities, and clears the path for serious progress. They know what works and what doesn’t; all we need now is the political will.”

They invite you to read and share Making the Global Compacts Work: What future for refugees and migrants? and to explore the Kaldor Centre‘s other resources about the Global Compacts.


  • Asylum seekers, refugees and human rights: SNAPSHOT REPORT (2ND EDITION) • 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
    “I hope that this Report, through setting out many of the key facts on this issue, can assist in bringing Australian law and policy on refugees and asylum seekers into line with our international obligations.” Gillian Triggs
  • Addressing the Pain of Separation for Refugee Families
    New Report from the Refugee Council of Australia – September 2017
    “Family reunion is key. The reason why it is number one in my list [of concerns] is that socially, psychologically, emotionally, financially, [family separation] is not viable.” – Former refugee from South Sudan
  • State of the Nation – Refugee Council of Australia Report – Feb 2017
    The Refugee Council of Australia’s State of the Nation report documents what is happening to real people, here in our community, to their loved ones and their families. It collects the voices and views, the ideas and expertise, of people who are living through the experience of seeking safety and settling in Australia and the many committed Australians who are working hard to help them. It reflects our conversations with people across Australia and within our networks in 2015 and 2016. Finally, it sets out the challenges we face as we head into 2017 and provides clear actions our governments, and communities can take to ensure Australia treats refugees humanely.