States of Refuge: Liberty Victoria

States of Refuge – Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project (‘RAP’) July 2018

‘States of Refuge’, published July 2nd, 2018.

About the Report
‘States of Refuge’ was written by Renata Blythe, James Clarke, Tyrone Connell, Julia Wallace and Chris Woods 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, and works across a range of issues including equality, government accountability, refugee and asylum seeker rights and criminal justice reform.

Introduction 4

The Process of Seeking Asylum within Australia 6
Application process – bridging visas 6
Protection visa types 6
Post-lodgement 7
Review of the decision 7

Policy vs Legislation: Where are Rights Best Located? 8

What Does International Law Say? 9
International law in Australia 9
Federalism and Australia’s obligations under international law 9
What is international human rights law and why does it matter? 10
What international human rights instruments are relevant to people seeking asylum and refugees? 10

What social and economic rights do people seeking asylum and refugees have? 12
Housing 12
Education 12
Health 13

The Verdict: Best and Worst Performers 14
Housing 14
Primary and secondary education 15
Higher education 16
Health 16

Housing 18
Social housing 21
Funding 25
Providing equal access to
people in crisis 31
International snapshots 34

Primary and Secondary Education 36
Commonwealth 36
New South Wales 37
Victoria 38
Queensland 39
Western Australia 40
South Australia 41
Tasmania 42
Australian Capital Territory 43
Northern Territory 43
Conclusion 45

Higher Education 47
Tertiary education 47
Vocational training 50
Apprenticeships 52

Health 53
Case studies 54
Hospital and primary health services 55
Ambulance services 61
Mental health services 63
National Disability and
Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 64
International snapshots 65

The Freedom of Information Maze 66

Glossary of Terms 68

About Liberty Victoria
Liberty Victoria is one of Australia’s leading civil liberties organisations. It has been working to defend and extend human rights and freedoms in Victoria for over 70 years. The aims of Liberty Victoria are to:

  • help foster a society based on the democratic participation of all its members and the principles of justice, openness, the right to dissent and respect for diversity;
  • secure the equal rights of everyone and oppose any abuse or excessive power by the state against its people;
  • influence public debate and government policy on a range of human rights issues. Liberty Victoria has policy statements on issues such as access to justice, a charter of rights and freedom of speech and privacy; and
  • make submissions to government, support court cases defending infringements of civil liberties, issues media releases and hold events.

Rights Advocacy Project