What to know how Australia's refugee policies stack up against our international law obligations? Kaldor Centre Director Professor Jane McAdam and Fiona Chong’s new book Refugees: Why Seeking Asylum Is Legal and Australia’s Policies Are Not (UNSW...

On the 30 April 2015, the Kaldor Centre hosted a presentation with Tom Porteous, Deputy Program Director, Human Rights Watch. Video from this presentation is now available.

The 2015-2016 Federal Budget sees a continued emphasis on the deterrence and offshore settlement of asylum seekers.

The budget provides funding to continue campaigns focused on deterring asylum seekers, at a cost of $39.9m over four years...

The loss of over 700 lives in a single incident in the Mediterranean on 18 April 2015, following a six-day period in which over 10,000 migrants were rescued, has sparked renewed debates about what policies Europe should adopt to manage boat...

The AHRCentre and the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law hosted a free public seminar on Thursday 23 April to discuss the key findings of the report and the questions it raises. A podcast from the seminar is now...

60 years ago, Australia ratified the Refugee Convention. It was, in fact, this act which brought the treaty into force. Since that time, Australian governments have oscillated in their responses to the reception, treatment and protection of...

The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, in partnership with Australia21, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), have launched the report 'Beyond the boats: building an asylum and refugee policy for the long term'....

Understanding the international legal obligations that Australia has to refugees and asylum seekers is crucial when it comes to separating myths from facts in contemporary Australian debates. In this video series Professor Jane McAdam goes behind...

Latest News

Australia’s Rigid Immigration Barrier

Gabrielle Appleby

First published in the New York Times.

In April, after the deaths of nearly 900 migrants attempting to reach Europe by boat, Australia’s conservative prime minister, Tony Abbott, urged European governments to adopt his country’s hard-line stance. The sentiment echoed a comment he’d made weeks earlier: that only his administration could resist “the cries of the human rights lawyers.”

Assessing asylum seekers' status requires procedure not glib dismissal

Dr Claire Higgins

First published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

When Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed last week that Australia had returned 46 Vietnamese asylum seekers who were held at sea, his press release stated that "we were assured that they did not have a claim for protection".

2015-2016 Budget


The 2015-2016 Federal Budget sees a continued emphasis on the deterrence of asylum seekers and offshore settlement.

Australia's unsustainable approach to asylum-seekers

Professor Jane McAdam

First published in The Interpreter (Lowy Institute).

At a time when international cooperation on refugees is most sorely needed, countries are instead resorting to increasing unilateralism. Australia is at the forefront. Retreating inwards by trying to seal off borders to people in search of protection is both unrealistic and unsustainable.

Jane McAdam tells international media why Australia's approach to asylum boats should not be followed in Europe


'As Europe struggles to deal with a surge in migrants pouring across the Mediterranean, Australia has gone nearly 18 months with virtually no asylum-seeker boat arrivals and no deaths at sea.  But observers warn that Australia's hotly contested policy of tu

Tighter borders will not stop refugee deaths

Professor Jane McAdam

Published in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The loss of more than a thousand lives in the Mediterranean in the past two weeks has led the European Union to launch military operations against people smuggling networks in Libya and ramp up maritime patrols.

ANU Climate Change Institute presents 'Climate Change and Migration: Prospects and Policy'


On the 24 March 2015, the ANU Climate Change Institute hosted 'Climate Change and Migration: Prospects and Policy’. Kaldor Centre Director, Professor Jane McAdam presented alongside Professor Jon Barnett from Melbourne University.

How our refugee policy has changed since Fraser

Dr Claire Higgins

Published in The Drum.

The plight of refugees is a complex issue for governments around the world. Yet the essential choices they face are straightforward. As the late Malcolm Fraser told me in 2010, his government had two: "Say yes. Say no."

Saying "yes" meant responding to the then Indochinese refugee crisis with humanity and equanimity. It meant introducing a formal refugee policy with quality refugee resettlement programs and services.

It's been 10 years, how do we still have children in detention?

Madeline Gleeson

Published in Sydney Morning Herald.

"Australians don't need a team of experts or dramatic media stories to convince them that detention centres are no place for children to grow up." These words are from the introduction to the Australian Human Rights Commission's report into children in immigration detention – 10 years ago.

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