The ‘White Australia’ policy was not long gone when the first refugees from communist Vietnam sailed into Darwin Harbour, seeking asylum and inadvertently challenging the Fraser government to reject now-familiar policies such as turnbacks and...

In 2018, world leaders will adopt two landmark documents – a Global Compact on Refugees, and a Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration.

Amidst debate about what these agreements should contain and how ambitious they should be...

Worried about how future people movements will impact Australia? You are not alone. Human rights, economic pressures, political questions and past experiences – when Australia took a different approach to refugees – are all discussed at the...

In a comprehensive new factsheet, Kaldor Centre Director Jane McAdam outlines what you need to know about the Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants.

Latest News

A Half-Century of Universal Refugee Protection Under Threat

Guy S Goodwin-Gill

First published in Refugees Deeply, 4 October 2017

Fifty years ago, the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees entered into force. It would finally put the international protection of refugees on a universal basis, without limit of time or place. It would thus provide the framework for a truly international response to international problems that no one state should bear alone.

Refugee policies of detention, turnbacks rejected in the 70s


A government under intense pressure from unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers arriving by boat, its radical policy attracting global attention; this might sound like contemporary Australia.

Watch Breaking the Deadlock: Creating solutions for refugees


Worried about how future people movements will impact Australia? You are not alone.

The law in the life of a refugee: Madeline Gleeson in ABC podcast


Storytelling makes sense of chaos through narrative structure, and this ABC podcast Shooting the Past puts together the story behind a photo of Prahran expert rugmaker Najaf Mazeri, who fled Afghanistan for Australia in 2001.

How do Italy’s orderly Humanitarian Corridors work?


Italy’s church-led Humanitarian Corridors are changing the lives of some vulnerable Syrian refugees. So far, in 18 months, about 850 refugees have been resettled.

Australia’s long history of offshore detention

Dr Claire Higgins

First published in the Lowy Interpreter, 8 September 2017

Shutting down the Manus Island detention centre by 31 October, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said, will represent 'the closure of a sad chapter'. Much remains unclear about this planned closure, but the eventual failure of offshore detention was clearly foreseen by the Immigration Department – not in 2012, when Manus and Nauru were re-opened, nor even in 1992, when mandatory detention became law. The failure was predicted at the very beginning, when asylum seekers were sailing to Australia in sustained numbers for the first time.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Australian Border Force Amendment (Protected Information) Bill 2017


Proposed changes to the secrecy provisions for employees of the Australian Border Force would have a continued chilling effect on the disclosure of any information about immigration and border control, according to a Senate submission by members of the Andr

Dutton should learn to live with lawyers helping in matters of life and death

Dr Claire Higgins

First published in The Guardian.

Lawyers who defend asylum seekers, the Immigration Minister believes, are ‘un-Australian’. Peter Dutton is not the first Minister to level criticism at asylum seeker advocates. But history shows that things could –and should – have turned out very differently.

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